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Chief justice need_not_consult_collegium

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  • 1. Date:01/08/2007 URL:http://www.thehindu.com/2007/08/01/stories/2007080162680100.htmNew Delhi“Chief Justice need not consult collegium”Legal CorrespondentNew Delhi: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is not bound to consult two senior mostjudges in the collegium while recommending an additional judge for appointment as apermanent judge of a High Court, say sources in the Supreme Court.Once the due process is complied with in the initial appointment, there will be no needfor further consultation as the CJI can independently make recommendations.Responding to allegations in a quo warranto petition, entertained by the apex court,questioning the appointment of Justice Ashok Kumar as a permanent judge of the MadrasHigh Court, the sources familiar with the appointment process say, “the due procedurewas followed .”On the contention that as per the 1998 Supreme Court judgment, consultation with thecollegium was necessary not only for the initial appointment but also for making anadditional judge permanent, the sources say: “The judgment refers to the consultationprocess only in the appointment of a permanent judge and not in regularisation of anadditional judge made after following the due procedure.” Every High Court hasvacancies in the posts of permanent judge and additional judge and all initialappointments are made after complying with the consultation process.Since 1990, about 600 additional judges have been appointed to High Courts and in allthese cases at the time of initial appointment, the process of consultation was compliedwith. However, when they were made permanent judges, invariably the CJIsindependently recommended their appointment. Justice Ashok Kumar was first appointedadditional judge in 2003 and at that time the due process of consultation was compliedwith. In 2005, when his case came up for being made permanent, the then CJI (R.C.Lahoti) for some reasons recommended his extension as an exception to the general rule.© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

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