The Supreme Court (SC) Collegium’s recommendation for elevation of at least 10 advocates as judges of the Allahabad High Court (HC) has been put on hold by the Centre as they do not meet the minimum income qualification required to be recruited in the higher judiciary, reports Times of India.
According to the report, despite the Chief Justice of India (CJI) recently reminding the government to clear all the pending recommendations, the Centre has decided to hold back names of those who do not meet the eligibility criteria.
There are reportedly at least 13 names currently pending with the government whom the SC Collegium had recommended for appointment as Allahabad HC judges. Out of these, 10 do not meet the minimum income criteria. Three other recommendations have also been put on hold though these lawyers fulfill all eligibility criteria.
As per the report, an advocate must have an average net professional annual income of Rs 7 lakh in the preceding five years before his/her recommendation by the Collegium to become a HC judge.
However, three of the recommended names have reported an average annual income of around Rs 4-4.5 lakh, while others are having income less than Rs 7 lakh, making them ineligible.
The elevation of these lawyers was recommended by the SC Collegium, then comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices AK Sikri and SA Bobde, by diluting the income criteria on 12 February this year.
The Centre is of the view that the decision of the three-judge SC collegium is in violation of certain conditions of appointments of HC judges as determined in the memorandum of procedure (MoP) finalised by five top judges of the SC earlier.
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