Apart from recommending and getting four Supreme Court (SC) judges, the collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Ranjan Gogoi, held six meetings in just 30 days to send proposals to the Centre for appointment of nine Chief Justices and 29 judges to various High Courts.
A report published in the The Times of India stated that while the larger collegium comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph, AK Sikri and SA Bobde recommended appointment of judges to the apex court and also effected transfers of 11 judges from one High Court to another, the collegium of three – CJI Gogoi and Justices Lokur and Joseph – dealt with High Court recommendations for appointment of HC judges from among advocates and judicial officers.
The report further stated that the nine names recommended for appointment as HC CJs are Justice NH Patil for Bombay High Court, Ramesh Ranganathan for Uttarakhand HC, AS Bopanna for Gauhati HC, DK Gupta for Calcutta HC, Vijai Kumar Bist for Sikkim HC, Govind Mathur for Allahabad HC, SK Seth for Madhya Pradesh HC, AP Sahi for Patna HC and Sanjay Karol for Tripura HC.
In contrast, the collegium headed by the CJI and comprising Justices Gogoi and Lokur had held six meetings in August and September to recommend names of 40 advocates and judicial officers to the Centre for their appointment as High Court judges and sent proposals for transfers of four HC judges from one HC to another. Between September 25 and October 31 last, the Allahabad HC gained the most in terms of clearing of names for appointment as HC judges by the SC collegium. If the collegium headed by then CJI Misra had cleared 17 out of 33 advocates’ names recommended by the HC collegium for appointment as judges of the Allahabad HC, the collegium headed by CJI Gogoi on October 31 cleared names of another 13 of 15 judicial officers for appointment as HC judges. Together, the Centre was told to appoint 30 judges to the HC, which has a vacancy of 76 judges against a sanctioned strength of 160.
While CJI Gogoi-led collegium mostly dealt with uncomplicated recommendations, CJI Misra-led collegium had a tough time settling recommendations for appointment of judges to HCs, which did a to and fro journey from SC to the Law Ministry and back.