File photo of Justice Hrishikesh Roy. Courtesy: livelaw.in

Justice Hrishikesh Roy, the Assam-born Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, may soon be elevated as a judge in the Supreme Court.

The Law Ministry has forwarded to the PMO the recommendation of the Supreme Court selection panel to elevate four high court chief justices as judges of the top court.

The collegiums, in the recommendation, said the four candidates are more deserving and suitable for being appointed as judges of the Supreme Court.

In addition to Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justices of the High Courts of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab-Haryana have been recommended for the elevation.

Justice V Ramasubramanian is the chief justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, while Justice Krishna Murari is the chief justice of Punjab-Haryana High Court.

Justice S Ravindra Bhat is the current chief justice of Rajasthan High Court.

The appointment of these four judges in the Supreme Court would take its strength to 34, the highest so far.

Recently, parliament increased the number of judges in the Supreme Court from 31 to 34.

If Justice Hrishikesh Roy finds a berth in the Supreme Court, he would be the second person after Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi to be a judge from Assam in the apex court.

Justice Hrishikesh Roy passed LL.B. from University of Delhi in 1982, and was initially enrolled under the Bar Council of Delhi. Later, he shifted to Guwahati.

He served as the Senior Government Advocate for the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Standing Counsel for the Assam State Electricity Board and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council.

In 2004, he was designated as Senior Advocate of Gauhati High Court. Hrishikesh Roy became an Additional Judge of Gauhati High Court in October 2006 and permanent Judge in July 2008.

In May 2018, Justice Roy was transferred to the Kerala High Court as the Acting Chief Justice. He became the permanent Chief Justice of the High Court on August 8, 2018.

The PMO is likely to take the decision on the elevation of the four judges to the Supreme Court soon.

The Law Ministry reportedly forwarded a note including the views of Consultee- Judges.

Some of the Consultee Judges have apparently questioned the proposed elevation of the candidates who are lower in the order in the all-India seniority list.

But, the views of Consultee Judges are not binding on the Collegium. The PMO is also likely to consider the issue of regional representation.

Hopefully, Justice Hrishikesh Roy will find a place in the Supreme Court of India before the retirement of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

As per records, Justice Ranjan Gogoi is going to retire on November 17.

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Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in

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