New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS): Amid the long-drawn tussle between the Centre and the judiciary over appointment of judges, the Centre on Saturday cleared the names of five judges for appointment to the Supreme Court.
On December 13, 2022, a statement uploaded on the apex court website had said: "The Supreme Court collegium in its meeting held on December 13 has resolved to recommend elevation of the following chief justices/judges of the high courts as judges in the Supreme Court: Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court (parent high court (PHC): Allahabad); Justice Sanjay Karol, Chief Justice, Patna High Court (PHC: Himachal Pradesh); Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Justice, Manipur High Court (PHC: Telangana); Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, Judge, Patna High Court; and Justice Manoj Misra, Judge, Allahabad High Court."
The Centre has now notified all the above five names as judges to the apex court.
The Supreme Court collegium is headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. The top court has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges and is presently functioning with 27 judges. Thus, there are seven clear vacancies.
On Friday, Attorney General R. Venkataramani had informed a bench comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka that the names of the five judges will be cleared very soon.
The Supreme Court had warned the Centre over the delay in clearing the transfer of high court judges recommended by the apex court collegium, saying it may result in both administrative and judicial actions which may not be palatable.
The bench had said, "Don't make us take a stand which will be very uncomfortablea," adding that if transfer of judges is kept pending, it becomes a serious issue.