SC Collegium recommends 3 Judicial Officers for appointment as Judges of Madhya Pradesh HC

Meera Emmanuel October 26 2018

The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the appointment of three judicial officers to the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Pursuant to a High Court Collegium recommendation made last April, the Supreme Court Collegium yesterday approved the appointment of the following judicial officers as judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court:

Vishnu Pratap Singh Chauhan

Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava

Shailendra Shukla

Along with their names, the Madhya Pradesh High Court Collegium had also recommended two other judicial officers and five advocates for appointment as High Court judges.

As per the Collegium resolution dated October 24, the names of the remaining judicial officers so recommended, i.e. Rajendra Prasad Sharma and Rajesh Gupta would be taken up for consideration by the Collegium after some time.

However, the Collegium declined to approve the elevation of all five advocates recommended by the High Court Collegium, finding that their names deserved to be remitted back to the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The names so remitted are of advocates Rahul Jain, Pranay GuptaRavindra Singh ChhabraDeepak Awasthi and Ami Prabal.

The decisions have been based on an examination of the files of the recommended persons, consultation with colleagues familiar with Patna High Court affairs and personal interactions conducted to ascertain the suitability of the candidates for appointment to the High Court.

Notably, the state government of Madhya Pradesh has not submitted its opinion on the proposed appointments, although a request calling for the same was also sent by the Department of Justice last June. The Supreme Court opted to move ahead with the process, invoking provisions in the Memorandum of Procedure which deems that the state government has nothing to add to the proposals if it fails to respond within the prescribed time.

The Collegium also took note that the proposals before them involved the non-recommendation of two senior judicial officers. However, it accepted that there were appropriate reasons justifying such non-recommendations as recorded in the minutes of the High Court Collegium's April meeting. The Collegium has further recorded that it finds no merit in certain complaints made against any of the proposed names.

Therefore, it has recommended the appointment of the following judicial officers:

"In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that S/Shri (1) Vishnu Pratap Singh Chauhan, (2) Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava, and (3) Shailendra Shukla, Judicial Officers, be appointed as Judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice."