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SC rejects Centre's plea on judges' elevation


New Delhi: In a significant development, the Supreme Court Collegium has rejected the Centre's plea to reconsider the recommendation for the elevation of Justices Aniruddha Bose and A.S. Bopanna to the Supreme Court. However, on Thursday, it recommended Justices Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai and Surya Kant for elevation as top court judges.

"The Collegium resolves to reiterate the afore-mentioned recommendation dated April 12, 2019, especially since nothing adverse regarding competence, conduct or integrity of Justices (1) Aniruddha Bose, and (2) A.S. Bopanna, has been pointed out," the Supreme Court said in a statement on Wednesday.

Justice Bose stands at number 12 in the combined seniority list of all-India High Court judges, while Justice Bopanna stands at number 36.

On April 12, both judges were recommended by the Collegium for elevation to the Supreme Court after considering factors such as merit, seniority, as well as regional representation on the Supreme Court Bench.

The Collegium stated, although the Centre had rejected the recommendation to elevate Justices Bose and Bopanna, that it would go against the principle of regional representation, but it has a different view on the matter.

The Collegium, rejecting the Centre's plea, said that it was aware of the parameters while recommending the above two judges, and therefore, following the procedure of the seniority amongst judges in their respective High Courts and then looking into the combined seniority on all-India basis, it reiterated its proposal to elevate the two judges.

Currently, Justice Gavai is a Judge of the Bombay High Court and Justice Kant is the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

According to the Collegium recommendation published on the website, the five-member Collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi met on Wednesday.

At the meeting it was decided to recommended the two judges for the elevation as Supreme Court judges.

Currently, there 27 judges in the top court against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges.

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