According to insiders, CJI N.V. Ramana is extremely disappointed, pained, and boiling with fury over the claimed deception and has demanded an unobtrusive investigation into sensitive material pertaining to the SC Collegium making its way into the public.
Except perhaps the Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court's four seniormost judges — Justices U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud, and L. Nageswara Rao – extremely senior unnamed registry employees are privy to the 5-member collegium's meetings.
The announcement followed a collegium meeting conducted at Justice Ramana's house on August 17, 2021 (Tuesday), which lasted until 9:20 p.m. and decided to suggest the identities of nine judges/chief justices of high courts for promotion to the Supreme Court of India.
Three women judges are amongst the nine names which were approved: Karnataka High Court Judge Justice B.V. Nagarathna, who would become India's first female Chief Justice in October 2027, albeit for a momentary period of 40 days, Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, and Justice Bela Trivedi, Judge of Gujarat High Court. The identities of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice A.S. Oka, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari, Kerala High Court Judge Justice C.T. Ravi Kumar, Madras High Court Judge M.M. Sundresh, and Senior Lawyer P.S. Narasimha have also been resolved for elevation.
Regardless of the fact that the candidates considered were not finalised on August 17,2021 (Tuesday), insiders said it was absurd to imply that action would be taken for the disclosure of secret conversations in the collegium meeting. The next day, August 18, 2021 (Wednesday), a few loose threads were to be straightened out before forwarding the list to the Union administration for confirmation, it was claimed.
On August 18, 2021 (Wednesday), a furious Justice Ramana allegedly convened a group of registry workers and conveyed his profound grief, wrath, and annoyance about the suspected leak, especially because the decision was not approved or posted, much less transmitted to the government. As a consequence, sources claim he has authorised a covert investigation to determine who is responsible for the purported leak.
On August 18, 2021 (Wednesday), Justice Ramana departed from the traditional farewell speech to departing judge Justice Navin Sinha by highlighting the topic of suspected leaks of collegium-related issues in the press.
Upon the instance, I'd want to use the opportunity to voice my dissatisfaction with some media speculations and stories. We ought to nominate judges to this court, as you are well aware. The procedure is still in progress. There will be meetings and choices made. The procedure of appointing judges is sacred and has a certain level of respect, CJI Ramana Stated
“My journalist buddies should appreciate and acknowledge the integrity of this procedure,” CJI Ramana remarked. As an organization, they place a great value on press freedom and individual liberties. Observations in some areas of the media August 18, awaiting the procedure even before the settlement is formalised, are counterproductive. There have been cases where genuine career advancement of great minds has been harmed as a result of such reckless reporting and conjecture. This is really tragic, and I am quite saddened about all this.
I must therefore note the remarkable empathy and understanding exhibited by the majority of professional journalists and media organisations in exercising patience and refraining from commenting on such a serious subject. The Supreme Court, in specific, and democratic principles, rely on competent journalists and ethical journalism. They are an integral element of our system. I encourage all stakeholders to maintain the institution's credibility and dignity, he continued.
Within legal circles, the term "stakeholders" is being construed as a reference to one or more collegium members disclosing the information.