Karnataka, Madras High Courts to get new judges

At a time when the Centre is being criticised for “sitting on” judicial appointments, new judges have been appointed to the High Courts of Madras and Karnataka.

In a move that will address the lack of personnel at the Karnataka High Court, the Centre has cleared the appointment of five judges. Various sources reveal that the judges received their warrants today and are expected to assume office shortly.

John Michael D’Cunha, Registrar General of the High Court, is one of those to be elevated. He was the Special Judge that found Tamil Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa guilty of having disproportionate assets back in 2014. The other four judges are K Somashekhar, BA Patil, Sreenivas Harish Kumar and the only woman among the five, KS Mudagal.

According to Deccan Herald, the High Court collegium had sent 18 names, 10 from the bar and eight from the bench for appointment as judges. However, only the five from the bench have been approved.

The Karnataka High Court has nearly 60% of its posts lying vacant, second only to the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, which has 62% vacancies. Even after these appointments, half of the posts will remain vacant.

This problem was even brought forth in the Supreme Court recently. Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had berated the Centre for dallying over the clearance judicial appointments, citing the lack of personnel at  the high courts of Allahabad and Karnataka as an issue.

Meanwhile, three judges will be appointed to the Madras High Court, reports PTI. Registrar General of the High Court N Sathish Kumar, RMT Teeka Raman and Principal District and Sessions Judge N Seshasayee.