Sharing critical posts of PM Modi will not impinge on the suitability of Advocate R. John Sathyan’s judgeship proposal; Supreme Court Collegium reiterates recommendation

Supreme Court: The Supreme Court Collegium comprising of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph J.J., while expressing its dimissory with the Center, reiterated its proposal to elevate Advocate R. John Sathyan as a judge of the Madras High Court.

The Collegium revealed that all the consultee judge at the time viz. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice M.M. Sundresh had a favourable opinion about the suitability of Advocate R. John Sathyan's elevation.

The Centre rejected his elevation citing an Intelligence Bureau (‘IB') report stating that he had shared an article that was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The report indicated,

“As per open sources, two posts made by him, i.e. sharing of an article published in ‘The Quint', which was critical of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and another post regarding committing of suicide by medical aspirant Anitha, who ended her life in 2017 since she was unable to clear NEET, portraying it as a killing by ‘political betrayal' and a tag stating ‘shame of you India' came to notice.”

However, the Collegium stated that the IB report noted that nothing came against his integrity who also did not have any overt political leanings, therefore, the adverse comments of the IB in respect of posts made by him would not impinge on the suitability, character or integrity of Advocate R. John Sathyan.

He was recommended by the Madras High Court Collegium in 2021 which was approved by the Supreme Court Collegium on 16-02-2022 headed by former Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.

The Collegium reiterated its earlier proposal stating that he be given precedence in the matter of appointment as Judge over certain names separately recommended by the Collegium for appointment as Judges of the Madras High Court.

*Simran Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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