Signalling a genuine thaw in the relationship between the judiciary and the executive, the Supreme Court collegium has made nine recommendations to elevate of judges as chief justices across various state high courts, reports The Indian Express.
One notable name among the collegium recommendations is justice Abhilasha Kumari, the daughter of Himachal Pradesh chief minister and veteran Congress leader Virbhadra Singh. The collegium has recommended her as the next chief justice of the Tripura High Court.
Kumari, a sitting judge at the Gujarat High Court since 2006, was elevated to the post of additional judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court in 2005. She had served as Additional Advocate-General of Himachal Pradesh soon after the Congress Government, headed by Singh, came to power in March 2003. She had also monitored cases related to Gujarat riots, including the Ishrat Jehan encounter case.
Interestingly, the previous chief justice of Supreme Court T S Thakur had recused himself from hearing a public interest litigation that was filed as a consequence of searches conducted at the houses of Singh, saying: “I know him for many years. I will not be part of the bench which hears it”. CBI had carried out searches at 13 locations in Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi – including Singh’s official and private residences, over allegations that he had amassed disproportionate assets worth Rs 6.03 crore, during his stint as the Union steel minister between 2009-12.
During Justice T S Thakur's tenure, the Supreme Court had removed Anurag Thakur as Board of Control for Cricket in India president for failing to implement the reforms suggested by the R M Lodha Committee. Anurag Thakur, incidentally, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament from Hamirpur and the son of former BJP chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was a sworn political rival of Singh.
The India Express report also revealed the names of the following judges, who have been recommended by the collegium for elevation as chief justices at various high courts. They are, justice Hemant Gupta for Madhya Pradesh High Court; justice B D Ahmed for Jammu and Kashmir High Court; justice Pradeep Nandarajog for Rajasthan High Court; justice Rajendra Menon for Patna High Court; Justice T Vaiphei for Hyderabad High Court; justice H G Ramesh for Madras High Court; Justice T B Radhakrishnan for Chhattisgarh High Court and Justice P K Mohanty for Jharkhand High Court.
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