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Judiciary

'Political background may not be sufficient to reject candidature of a HC judge,' Collegium rejects name of CPI(M) sympathiser [Read Recommendation]

By Jhanak Singh      13 March, 2024 05:25 PM      0 Comments
Political background may not be sufficient to reject candidature of a HC judge Collegium rejects name of CPI M sympathiser

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Collegium has said that a candidate has had a political background may not be a sufficient reason in all cases to reject candidature of an advocate for appointment as a judge of the High Court.

It rejected an objection by the central government to the elevation of advocate Manoj Pulamby Madhavan as a judge of the Kerala High Court.

The government said that the candidate “is considered to be a CPI(M) sympathiser”.

Calling the input from the Department of Justice as "extremely vague," the Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud referred to a case of L C Victoria Gowri who was appointed as additional judge of the Madras High Court in February, 2023.

"The input that the candidate is considered to be a CPI(M) sympathizer is otherwise vague and bereft of cogent grounds. Even otherwise, the mere fact that the candidate has had a political background may not be a sufficient reason in all cases," the Collegium said.

"For example, in the recent past, an advocate has been appointed as a Judge of the High Court though she was an office bearer of a political party prior to her elevation," the Collegium said.

The Collegium also comprised Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai.

The inputs by the Department of Justice said, “Madhavan is considered to be a CPI(M) sympathiser. He was appointed as government pleader in 2010 and 2016-2021 by the LDF Government.”

The Collegium, however, noted Madhavan belonged to the Scheduled Caste community and has 35 reported judgments to his credit. It found the candidate as fit and suitable for appointment as a judge of the high court.

The input does not constitute a valid ground to reject his candidature, it said.

The Collegium said as a matter of fact, the appointment of the candidate as a government pleader would indicate that he would have acquired sufficient experience in handling cases where the state is a party in diverse branches of law.

The Collegium also recommended the elevation of advocates, Abdul Hakhim Mullappally Abdul Aziz, Syam Kumar Vadakke Mudavakkat, Harisankar Vijayan Menon, Manu Sreedharan Nair, and Easwaran Subramani, as judges of the High Court of Kerala.

 

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