Justice Chandrachud hears case till late, SC collegium meeting can’t take place

The Supreme Court collegium on Friday could not hold its meeting to discuss judges’ names to recommend for appointment to the apex court, as a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud heard cases till 9 p.m., court sources said.

According to people familiar with the development, the collegium, headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit had scheduled a meeting, after court hours, on Friday to discuss names of the judges who could be recommended for the appointment to the apex court. However, due to unavailability of Justice Chandrachud, the collegium meeting could not take place, added the source.

The collegium of the Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of India and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court to make recommendations for appointments to the apex court. Chief Justice Lalit will demit office on November 8, and Justice Chandrachud will take over as next Chief Justice.

According to the source, the collegium meeting could not be held as a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud conducted hearing till 9 p.m. The normal working hours of the apex court is from 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The apex court will be closed for Dussehra vacation next week and it will reopen on October 10.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court collegium recommended elevation of Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta as judge of the apex court. A statement, uploaded on the apex court website, said: “The Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on 26th September, 2022 has recommended elevation of Justice Dipankar Datta, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court (PHC: Calcutta), as Judge of the Supreme Court”. The 57-year-old Justice Dutta’s parent high court is the Calcutta High Court.

At present, the apex court is functioning with 29 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 34 judges. Justice Datta was appointed as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court in April 2020.

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