The CJI issues a second note to the Collegium regarding the method for naming new Supreme Court judges

There is less than a month left before Chief Justice UU Lalit retires, and two of the five members of the Supreme Court Collegium oppose the proposal to recommend four new judges, including a Supreme Court lawyer, to the top court by written note rather than in person. According to reports, Chief Justice U U Lalit has written to them again, asking for a reconsideration of their position.

It has been reported that both judges maintain that “holding a Collegium meeting by circulation” as opposed to face-to-face deliberation is unprecedented and that they cannot be involved.

In their separate letters to the Chief Justice on October 1, the two judges emphasized that they had already “made themselves clear” by stating that it is not possible to decide names for Supreme Court appointments by circulating proposals and that there was nothing further they wanted to add, according to highly placed sources of the Deccan Era.

On October 1, the CJI wrote to the Collegium’s other four members — Justices D Y Chandrachud, S K Kaul, S Abdul Nazeer, and K M Joseph — requesting their approval to elevate Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha to Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court, and Senior Advocate K V Viswanathan to Chief Justice.

According to the letter, the CJI wrote after a meeting of the Collegium was cancelled on September 30 due to the absence of Justice Chandrachud, who had held court until 9.10 p.m. that evening.

Due to the fact that September 30 is the Supreme Court’s last working day before Dussehra, the bench presided over by Justice Chandrachud rose only once all matters on its docket had been resolved.

CJI Lalit’s retirement is on November 8, so he won’t have much time. Usually a month before the outgoing CJI retires, the government writes him and he recommends the successor.

The incumbent CJI usually defers to the new CJI on judicial appointments when there’s a new name proposed

CJI Lalit’s letter was responded to on October 1 by one of the Collegium members, who said he had no objections. Others, on the other hand, complained about having the Collegium meeting by “circulation.” They weren’t happy with the names the CJI proposed.

The two members only objected to how the recommendations were initiated, not to the merits of the recommended people.

Four judges were away and said they would respond when they got back.

In a subsequent communication on October 2, the CJI urged the judges to “reconsider” their position and share their comments about the candidates.

In spite of that, the judges didn’t because they thought it would result in a “by circulation” meeting.

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