The Supreme Court Collegium — a group of five senior most judges — on Thursday rejected Narendra Modi government' objections to its recommendation to elevate Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Aniruddha Bose and Gauhati High Court Chief Justice AS Bopanna. The collegium once again reiterated their recommendation to elevate the two judges, which makes it incumbent for the Centre to consider the names for the elevation.
Last month, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the names of Justice Bose and Justice Bopanna for promotion but the Centre objected to their elevation and returned thier names to the collegium. According to the sources, the Centre had cited seniority and representation of regions as the reason behind its decision.
While Justice Bose whose parent high court is Calcutta, is at number 12 in all-India seniority of judges, Justice Bopanna, whose parent high court is Karnataka, stands at number 36 in the ranking.
However, in its resolution, the Supreme Court Collegium said that it has taken into consideration the combined seniority on all-India basis of chief justices and also kept in mind the due representation on the bench of the top court.
"While recommending the names of Mr Justices Aniruddha Bose and A S Bopanna, the collegium has taken into consideration, apart from their merit and integrity, combined seniority on all-India basis of chief justices and senior puisne judges of high courts.
"The collegium has also kept in mind the desirability of giving due representation on the bench of the Supreme Court, as far as possible, to all the high courts," the collegium resolution had read.
This is not the first time the Judiciary and the Centre are on odds on the issue of judges elevation. Earlier last year, the Centre had objected to the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph's elevation.
Justice Joseph had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in 2016 by the Narendra Modi government in Uttarakhand. The collegium, however, didn't scumb to the pressure and reiterated Justice Joseph's elevation and after a long delay he got promoted to the top court.