New Delhi: The Centre is learnt to have disagreed with the Supreme Court Collegium's recommendation to confirm the elevation of Jharkhand High Court chief justice Aniruddha Bose and Gauhati High Court chief justice A.S. Bopanna as judges of the apex court, sources said.
The sources, however, are not clear about the exact reason for the decision to send back the recommendations, although, it is learnt that the principle of seniority was not applied and that regional representation formed the basis for the decision.
A source familiar with the elevation process said Justice Bose stood at serial number 12 and Justice Bopanna at 36 in the combined seniority of High Court judges on all-India basis. Justice Bose is from Calcutta High Court and Justice Bopanna from the Karnataka High Court.
As per record, there is only one judge, Justice Indira Banerjee in the Supreme Court who has moved from the Calcutta High Court.
But there are two judges from the Karnataka HC, Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and S. Abdul Nazeer, in the top court. The five-judge Collegium headed by the CJI had recommended the elevation of these two judges.
The five-judge Collegium, besides the CJI, also comprises Justices S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and R.F. Nariman, had thought over various factors including the seniority and merit along with the integrity of the candidate.
Justice Bose was appointed as a judge of the Calcutta High Court on January 19, 2004. Justice Bose was elevated as Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court on August 11, 2018. Justice Bopanna, on the other hand, was appointed as a judge of the Karnataka High Court.