Supreme Court Collegium reiterates Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan elevation as a Bombay High Court Judge; says he can't be denied judgeship for expressing his views

Supreme Court: The Supreme Court Collegium while expressing its disagreement with the Centre, reiterated its earlier proposal to elevate Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan as a Judge in Bombay High Court.

Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan was recommended by the Collegium of Bombay High Court on 04-10-2021 and the same was approved by the Supreme Court Collegium on 16-02-2022.

However, on 25-11-2022, the Centre sought reconsideration on the ground that in the past he has aired his views in the social media on several matters which are subjudice before the Courts.

In response to such a stand, the Collegium said that that views expressed on social media do not furnish foundation to infer that he is biased and the issues on which he has aired his views are extensively deliberated upon in the print and electronic media. The same does not disentitle him to hold a constitutional office.

The manner in which the candidate has expressed his views does not justify the inference that he is a “highly biased opinionated person” or that he has been “selectively critical on the social media on the important policies, initiatives and directions of the Government.” stated the Collegium.

It added that there are no indications of his links with any political parties with strong ideological leanings and emphasised on the right to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

The Collegium further highlighted that Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan specialises in commercial law and would be an asset to the Bombay High Court which has a large volume of cases of commercial and securities laws. It also pointed out Department of Justice's reliance on Second Judges case (1993) 4 SCC 441 to the effect that the candidate to be selected must possess high integrity, honesty, skill, high order of emotional stability, firmness, serenity, legal soundness, ability and endurance.

In the opinion of the Collegium, Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan fulfils these qualities.

*Simran Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this report together

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