The Supreme Court Collegium has signed off on the elevation of six persons as judges of the Madras High Court.
The six recommended names are S Ramathilagam, R Tharani, T Krishnavalli, R Hemalatha, P Rajamanickam and R Pongiappan. Quite significantly, the first four of the six potential appointees are women.
The six were recommended for elevation after Collegium members Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi considered input from their brother judges conversant with the affairs of the Madras High Court, the opinion of the Judge Committee which reviews judgments, as well reports from the Information Bureau.
S Ramathilagam is a Chief Judge at Pondicherry, R Tharani is a Principal District Judge at Madurai, T Krishnavalli is the Chairman of the Permanent Lok Adalat at Madurai, R Hemalatha is a District Judge at Karur, P Rajamanickam is the Registrar (Judicial) at the Madras High Court and R Pongiappan is a Principal District Judge at Coimbatore.
A total of ten district judges and tribunal members were recommended for elevation by the Madras High Court Collegium and the Tamil Nadu government; for varying reasons, four of the names were rejected.
Vasudevan V Nadathur, Judicial Member at ITAT Kolkata is among the names that have been rejected. Assigning reasons for the same, the Collegium noted,
“As per record, his name was also recommended by the Collegium of the Calcutta High Court on 28.11.2016 and the Government of West Bengal has expressed its disagreement. Record placed before us also shows that the proposal for his elevation initiated on a previous occasion by the Collegium of the Bombay High Court was rejected by the Supreme Court Collegium on 1st August, 2013. A complaint pointing out this fact has also been received in the office of the Chief Justice of India. Keeping in view the views of the consultee-Judges and the material on record the Collegium is of the considered opinion that Shri Vasudevan V. Nadathur is not suitable for elevation to the High Court Bench.”
Another recommended name, B Sarodjiny Devy, has an inquiry is pending against her in the High Court. District judges A Zakir Hussain and Dr. K Arul have been deemed unsuitable for elevation due to information in the Intelligence Bureau reports on them.
Should the Centre give the green signal to the Collegium’s recommendations, the working strength of the Madras High Court will go up to 59, leaving it with 16 vacancies.
Read the Collegium resolutions:
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