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Don’t force us to take drastic measures…Supreme Court warns Center over delay in approving transfer of judges

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday warned the central government over the delay in approving the recommendation of the collegium on the transfer of high court judges. The top court said that both administrative and judicial action can be taken regarding this, which cannot be pleasant. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka’s bench asked Attorney General R.K. Told Venkataramani, ‘Let us not take any stand that would be very inconvenient.’ The court said, “Pending the transfer of judges is a serious issue.”

Justice Kaul observed that transfer is a very serious issue and cautioned against third party interference in the process. He told the AG that sometimes the government does it overnight and sometimes it takes more time, there is no uniformity. The court noted that transfers of chief justices are also pending. We have to take a difficult decision, the bench orally told the AG. Don’t force us to take a tough stand. The apex court insisted, ‘This has been happening! But when will this happen? Things are not happening for years.

During the hearing, Advocate Amit Pai, appearing for the petitioner, said that the court is being attacked from outside. Justice Kaul said, ‘We are used to it. Rest assured that this does not bother us. These officers know where to go. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on February 13. The AG said that the recommendations made for the appointment of five judges of the Supreme Court would be approved soon.

On December 13, 2022, the collegium of the apex court comprising Justices Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Manoj Mishra were promoted as Supreme Court judges. Similarly, on January 31, the Collegium also recommended elevation of Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, and Arvind Kumar, Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, as Supreme Court judges.

The Supreme Court was hearing a contempt petition filed by the Advocates’ Association of Bangalore against the Center for allegedly violating the timeline for judicial appointments. Earlier, the Supreme Court had expressed displeasure over the delay in finalizing the names sent by the collegium for appointments.

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