In a major decision, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended elevation of eight judges as Chief Justices of various high courts and recommended over two dozen names of high court judges for transfer.
The new eight Chief Justices are: Justice Rajesh Bindal for the Allahabad High Court, Prakash Srivastava for the Calcutta High Court, Prashant Kumar Mishra for the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Ritu Raj Awasthi for the Karnataka High Court, Satish Chandra Sharma for the Telangana High Court, Ranjit V. More for the Meghalaya High Court, Aravind Kumar for the Gujarat High Court, and R.V. Malimath for the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Justice Bindal was appointed as the acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on April 29, as the polling got over in West Bengal. He was caught in the standoff between the Trinamool Congress and the Centre after elections in West Bengal.
According to a source, five Chief Justices and over two dozen judges were recommended to be transferred.
Justice Akil Qureshi, who is currently Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, is recommended to head the Rajasthan High Court, while Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty will go to Tripura High Court in his place.
Other Chief Justices to be transferred are Arup Kumar Goswami from Andhra Pradesh to the Chhattisgarh High Court, Mohd Rafiq from Madhya Pradesh to the Himachal Pradesh High Court, and Biswanath Somadder from Meghalaya to the Sikkim High Court.
According to the source, the decisions were taken by the Supreme Court collegium Thursday evening. However, the collegium headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices U.U. Lalit and A.M. Khanwilkar -- has not formally notified these decisions.
The names of the 25 high court judges recommended for transfer are: Sabina from Rajasthan to Himachal Pradesh, A.M. Badar from Kerala to Patna, Vivek Agarwal from Allahabad to Madhya Pradesh, Sudip Ahluwalia from Punjab and Haryana to Calcutta, Ravi Nath Tilhari from Allahabad to Andhra Pradesh, Chandra Dhari Singh from Allahabad to Delhi, Anoop Chitkara from Himachal Pradesh to Punjab and Haryana, Yashwant Varma from Allahabad to Delhi, T.S. Sivagnanam from Madras to Calcutta, Manindra Mohan Shrivastava from Chhattisgarh to Rajasthan, Arindam Sinha from Calcutta to Orissa, Ujjal Bhuyan from Bombay to Telangana, Sureshwar Thakur from Himachal Pradesh to Allahabad, Jaswant Singh from Punjab and Haryana to Orissa, Subhash Chand (Additional Judge) from Allahabad to Jharkhand, M.S.S. Ramachandra Rao from Telangana to Punjab and Haryana, M.N. Bhandari from Allahabad to Madras, Ahsanuddin Amanullah from Patna to Andhra Pradesh, Sanjaya Kumar Mishra from Orissa to Uttarakhand, Soumen Sen from Calcutta to Orissa, P.B. Bajanthri from Karnataka to Patna, Sanjeev Prakash Sharma from Rajasthan to Patna, Paresh R. Upadhyay from Gujarat to Madras, Amarnath Goud from Telangana to Tripura, and Rajan Gupta from Punjab and Haryana to Patna.
According to the source, more names of high court judges are expected to come out later.
The collegium, on September 3, had made 68 recommendations, including 10 women judges, for appointment to high courts. However, the Centre has not acted on these names so far.
Breaking a nearly two-year deadlock, on August 18, the top court had published on its website names of nine persons recommended for appointment as judges to the top court. All nine names were cleared by the Centre within two weeks.