In a big setback to the Centre, the apex court has refused to accept its decision of rejecting 43 names recommended by the Collegium for their appointment as judges of the various high courts. The bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur have sent back the names of judges for reconsideration.
“We have reiterated 43 names for the appointment as judges of high courts which were rejected by the government and have been sent back for reconsideration,” the Supreme Court bench said.
The apex court stated this after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi reminded the bench about the statement made by him during the last hearing on the subject this week.
Chief Justice Tjakur, who heads the five-member Collegium of judges, told the Attorney General that “we have seen”.
The AG, meanewhile, expressed his ignorance about the latest development saying “I am not aware about it”.
The Centre on Tuesday had told the Supreme Court that it has cleared 34 names out of the 77 recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges in various high courts in the country.
The government had also apprised the apex court that no file with regard to the recommendations for appointment of judges was pending with it.
“Out of total 77 names, 34 names have been cleared for the appointment and rest 43 recommendations have been sent back to the apex court collegium for reconsideration,” AG Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the Centre, had told the bench.
The judiciary and the central government have been arguing in the Supreme Court over the issue of delay in appointments in the higher judiciary post the quashing of NJAC Act last year by the top court.
The centre, on its part, has been saying that the delay is not from their end.
(With inputs from PTI)