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Supreme Court- Government Showdown In Court Over Appointment Of Judges

SHAHNAWAZ | 0
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| May 5 , 2018 , 11:49 IST

In an interesting turn of events, a kind of a standoff was witnessed between the Attorney General and the Supreme Court on Friday over the appointment of judges for high courts.

A two-judge bench hearing a plea on the shortage of judges in the Manipur HC asked Attorney General KK Venugopal about the status of the recommendations made by the collegium for the vacancies in the High courts. The AG replied that the collegium recommendations were not enough to fill the large number of vacancies in the HC. He assured the court that the appointments to the High Courts will be made soon and added that the collegium should keep in mind the vacancies that would arise in the coming six months. He stressed that the number of recommendations made by the collegium was less than the vacancies in different High Courts.

“Collegium doesn’t send us the names and the government is told it is being tardy in processing,” he said.

This led to Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta asking the Attorney General if he had data on the pending vacancies to which Venugopal replied, “No”.

A miffed bench said, “When we ask you for data, you don’t have it. But when it comes to attacking the judiciary, you have the data”.

The Attorney General also brought the topic of NJAC Act to which the judges replied that they were only concerned with the appointments of judges to High Courts in North East.

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Insisting that the situation was critical the bench reportedly said, “In Meghalaya, there is only one judge against four. Even Tripura has just two against four. Recommendation was also made for Meghalaya. What happened to that? People of Northeast are suffering. What are they supposed to do? Should they come here to get their cases transferred to other High Courts and spend money to hire lawyers there?”