SC collegium recommends elevation of 8 CJs to various HCs

In a major decision, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended elevation of eight judges as chief justices of various high courts.

The new eight chief justice are: Justice Rajesh Bindal for the Allahabad High Court; Prakash Srivastava for the Calcutta High Court; Prashant Kumar Mishra for the Andhra Pradesh High Court; Ritu Raj Awasthi for the Karnataka High Court; Satish Chandra Sharma for the Telangana High Court; Ranjit V. More for the Meghalaya High Court; Aravind Kumar for the Gujarat High Court; and R.V. Malimath for the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Justice Bindal was appointed as the acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on April 29, as the polling got over in West Bengal. He was caught in the standoff between the Trinamool Congress and the Centre after elections in West Bengal.

According to a source, five chief justices and 28 judges were recommended to be transferred.

Justice Akil Qureshi, who is currently chief justice of the Tripura High Court, will be recommended to head Rajasthan High Court, while Rajasthan High Court chief justice Indrajit Mahanty will go to Tripura High Court as chief justice.

Five chief justices to be transferred are: Arup Kumar Goswami from Andhra Pradesh to Chhattisgarh High Court; Mohd. Rafiq from Madhya Pradesh to Himachal Pradesh High Court; Akil Qureshi from Tripura to Rajasthan High Court; Indrajit Mahanty from Rajasthan to Tripura High Court; and Biswanath Somadder from Meghalaya to Sikkim High Court.

According to the source, the decisions were taken by the Supreme Court collegium Thursday evening. However, the collegium headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising justices U.U. Lalit and A.M. Khanwilkar — has not formally notified these decisions.

The collegium, on September 3, had made 68 recommendations including for 10 women judges, for appointment to high courts. However, the Centre has not acted on these names so far.

Breaking a nearly two-year deadlock, on August 18, the top court had published on its website names of nine persons recommended for appointment as judges to the top court. All nine names were cleared by the Centre within two weeks.