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SC ‘concerned’ over Centre’s response to collegium recommendations

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed concern over the way the Centre was responding to the recommendations of the Supreme Court collegium for appointment/transfer of judges to high courts and the apex court.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Manoj Misra and Aravind Kumar observed that certain issues pertaining to judges appointments were concerning.

“I am also concerned with some issues,” Justice Kaul verbally observed. Appearing on behalf of the petitioners, advocate Prashant Bhushan said the Centre has been selective in notifying the appointment/transfer of certain judges. “We are equally worried if not more,” Justice Kaul added.

The counsel for the Centre sought adjournment, citing unavailability of the attorney general. The case will now come up for resumed hearing in the second week of March.

The development took place during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by the Advocates Association Bengaluru. The petitioner contended that the Centre was in direct contravention of the ‘Second Judges case’ for not appointing names cleared by the collegium.

The bench on previous hearings has expressed its strong displeasure over the delay in the government clearing judicial appointments and transfers. The SC had on February 3 warned the government of judicial and administrative actions that “may not be palatable” in case it kept dragging its feet in acting on the recommendations of the collegium on the transfer of high court judges.

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