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SC Collegium Recommends Record 51 Names for Judgeship in 10 HCs

A nine-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, unanimously declared Right to Privacy a fundamental right.  (File photo)

A nine-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, unanimously declared Right to Privacy a fundamental right. (File photo)

In a record of sorts, a collegium headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar has cleared the names of 51 judges for appointment to 10 high courts across the country.

New Delhi: In a record of sorts, a collegium headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar has cleared the names of 51 judges for appointment to 10 high courts across the country.

According to a report in the Times of India, 14 names were recommended for the Bombay High Court, while nine were cleared for the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Six names each were cleared for Patna and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh high courts, and four each for Delhi and Chhattisgarh high courts.

The report said three names were recommended for appointment to the Jammu & Kashmir HC. Jharkhand and Gauhati high courts are likely to get two judges.

Besides the CJI, the Supreme Court collegium includes four senior-most judges — Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and M B Lokur.

In March, the collegium had finalised the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary resolving a year-long impasse with the executive by agreeing to include the contentious clause of national security in selection of judges.

The national security clause, which gave veto power to the government to reject a name recommended by the collegium, and the issue of setting up of secretariats in the apex court and all the high courts, were among the two key clauses in the MoP on which the Centre and the judiciary had differences for more than a year.

In October 2015, a Constitution bench headed by Justice JS Khehar had struck down the NJAC Act passed by Parliament and had directed the Centre to frame a new MoP in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

After holding the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 and the NJAC Act, 2014, as unconstitutional and void, the apex court in its separate order had decided to consider the incorporation of additional appropriate measures, if any, for an improved working of the collegium system.

Striking a dissent note, Justice J Chelameswar who was part of the five-judge Constitution bench which heard the NJAC case, had said that the collegium system for the appointment of judges is "opaque" and needs "transparency".

(With PTI inputs)