Monday, July 1, 2013

Advocate with links to terror outfit almost became high court judge : question : just 1 case ??

Advocate with links to terror outfit almost became high court judge

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Jul 1, 2013, 12.19 AM IST

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Advocate with links to terror outfit almost became high court judge

The said person, who had links with a terrorist organization, sailed through all these checks and balances and his name was recommended six months ago to the government for appointment by the collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India.


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NEW DELHI: A high court recently came perilously close to having a judge with links with a terror organization.

Despite owing allegiance to a banned organization, the advocate's name was recommended by the high court collegium, headed by its chief justice, to the Supreme Court.

When the name of a person is recommended for appointment as HC judge, the same goes to the chief minister as well as the governor of the state and to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court collegium of judges, before taking a decision on the name, seeks details of his credentials not only from the high court concerned but also from sitting apex court judges who are acquainted with the functioning of that particular high court.

The said person, who had links with a terrorist organization, sailed through all these checks and balances and his name was recommended six months ago to the government for appointment by the collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India.

The Prime Minister's Office ordered a scrutiny of the people recommended along with this advocate by the SC collegium. The Intelligence Bureau, which is traditionally assigned this job, came out with a screaming report: that the lawyer had links with a terror organization.

The PMO sent the file recommending the name of the advocate back
to the collegium, which immediately withdrew the recommendation for his appointment as a judge of the HC.

This instance lends credence to CJI-designate P Sathasivam's contention that the much maligned judges-selecting-judges system in India was not a unitary but a participatory method, in which the executive and judiciary had equal participation in selecting the most suitable person for appointment as judge in the SC and HCs.

In an interview to TOI, he said, "It is wrong to say that judiciary has the sole prerogative to appoint judges and that the executive has no say in the process of judicial appointment. Executive is one of the consultees in the participatory consultative process of judicial appointments. Thus, it is always open to the government to seek reconsideration of the recommendation made by the collegium, for strong reasons or adverse material in their possession. In fact, in the recent past, the government has exercised its power to keep a check and prevent appointment of persons considered to be unsuitable."

dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com



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