Thursday, April 18, 2024

Kith And Kin Galore In Recommendation List For Elevation As Judges Of Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has sent a list of 29 names of advocates to the Supreme Court Collegium recommending that they be elevated as judges of the High Court.

The Allahabad High Court has a sanctioned strength of 160 judges while the number of vacancies  stands at 57 out of sanctioned strength of 160 judges.  The 29 names recommended include 24 from Allahabad while the rest practice at the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.

What is note worthy about the list that is now with the Supreme Court Collegium is that many of the names recommended are kith and kin of some of the big names in the Indian Legal  fraternity. For example, Advocate Manu Khare is the son of former Chief Justice of India V.N. Khare who was chief justice of the Indian between 2002 and 2004. Advocate Archana Singh is wife of Kavindra Pratap Singh, Inspector General of Police, Prayagraj  . Advocate Arvind Srivastava is son of former Judge SP Srivastava  who upon retirement joined the National Judicial Acaemy as Professor. Advocate Nimai Das is son of former District Judge Bihari Das and belong to family of former judges. Advocate Imran ullah khan has been former Additional Advocate General during the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav government and reported to have close links with Senior Samajwadi Party Azam Khan whom he is reported to have represented in a plethora cases,  Advocate Syed Ali Murtaza is brother of former senior Judge of Lucknow Imtiyaz Murtaza who was Allahabad HC judge between 2011–15 while Advocate Rishad Murtaza is the nephew of Imtiaz Murtaza. Advocate Sudeep Seth is the junior of present Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh.

The following is the full list of names of those recommended: :

From Prayagraj:-

1. Manu Khare

2. Nimai Das

3. Ashish Kumar Singh

4. C. K. Rai

5. Anoop Trivedi

6. Anjali Upadhyay

7. Archana Singh

8. Imran Ullah

9. Saurabh Srivastava

10. Arvind Srivastava

11. Syed Ali Murtaza

12. Prabhakar Awasthi

13. Amit Saxena

14. Manju Thakur

15. Rishi Chaddha

16. Sanjay Kumar Om

17. Vikram D Chauhan

18. Vikas Budhwar

19. Kumari Meena

20. Amit Srivastava

21. Mahboob Ahmad

22. Rama Goyal Bansal

23. Arnab Banerji

24. Aishwarya Bhati

From Lucknow:-

1. Dhruv Mathur

2. Sudeep Seth

3. Roohi Siddiqui

4. Rishad Murtaza

5. Altaf Mansoor

On approval by the Supreme Court Collegium the names of the proposed candidates will be sent to Central Government after which the name s would be sent to President of India and thereafter it will be notified by the Government.

The criteria for appointment of a person as Judge of High Court are provided under Article 217 of Constitution. The criteria are:-

·       Has for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India; or

·       Has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession.

Last year, the Supreme Court Collegium comprising of then CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice A.K. Sikri & Justice S.A. Bobde while considering the names of candidates for Allahabad High Court relaxed the mandatory criteria about “professional income” of some recommended candidates. Under the new relaxed system, the standard for prescribed minimum income limit of the candidates has to be less than Rs 7 lakh per year. This decision is a clear case of overreach by the collegium, especially since it flies in the face of all logic as well as settled law.

The Supreme Court collegium’s relaxation will be applicable only to “a reasonable extent in cases where such recommendees belong to categories of SC/ST/OBC or represent Government in their capacity as Standing /Panel Counsel before the Courts.”

-India Legal Bureau


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