Collegium recommends five names for elevation to Karnataka High Court

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After a long-drawn hiatus, the Karnataka High Court is likely to see the appointment of new judges, in light of the Supreme Court Collegium decision to recommend five names for elevation.

The Collegium of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi has signed off on the elevation of Krishna S Dixit, Ramakrishna Devdas, BM Shyam Prasad,  Shankar Ganapathi Pandit and S Sunil Dutt Yadav to the Karnataka High Court.

Krishna Dixit is the Additional Solicitor General of India in the Karnataka High Court, while R Devdas and BM Shyam Prasad are Senior Advocates. Sunil Dutt Yadav a graduate of National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, is the third NLSIU alumnus to be elevated to a high court, after Shekhar Bobby Saraf earlier this year, and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, who has been elevated as a judge of the Madras High Court.

The High Court had recommended a total of ten names for elevation. However, the SC Collegium saw it fit to recommend only five of these. Four names –  GS Kannur, K Arvind Kamath, KN Phanindra, and Maheshan Nagaprasanna – were sent back to the Chief Justice of the High Court for fresh consideration, whereas KC Keshavamurthy was deemed unsuitable for elevation.

In its resolution, the Collegium at the outset mentions that the Chief Minister of Karnataka had conveyed opinions alleging that the list of names does not provide adequate representation to different sections of society. However, the High Court collegium had noted that it had “given adequate representation to all the sections of the society to the extent possible considering the merit of the respective candidates”.

Further, the Governor of the state expressed the view that some of the recommendees, without specifying which ones, did not meet standards of efficiency and performance. The Collegium, while agreeing with this view, stated,

“In this regard, it need not be emphasized that assessment of performance of the persons recommended is done objectively by the judiciary at High Court and Supreme Court level…”

The Collegium also received complaints against the recommended names, which it had deemed baseless, on the basis of Intelligence Bureau inputs.

Should the Centre agree to the Collegium’s recommendations, the number of vacancies will drop from the current 37 to 32, as against a sanctioned strength of 62.

Read the resolution:

Karnataka HC Dec 4