Appointments & TransfersNews

Collegium Statement

Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for elevation of the following Judicial Officers as Judges of the Karnataka High Court:

  1. Shri Shivashankar Amarannavar,
  2. Smt. M. Ganeshaiah Uma,
  3. Shri Vedavyasachar Srishananda,
  4. Shri Hanchate Sanjeevkumar, and
  5. Shri Padmaraj Nemachandra Desai.


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 20-04-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

In furtherance to the Government of India’s policy of zero tolerance for crime and in an endeavor to fast track the dispensation of justice, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has taken steps to enhance and streamline the process of international mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

The MHA has issued Revised Guidelines for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters in December 2019. The revised guidelines can be accessed here.

The revised guidelines provide step-by-step guidance to the investigation agencies for drafting and processing Letters Rogatory / Mutual Legal Assistance Requests and Service of Summons, Notices & other Judicial Documents. By incorporating various legal and technological developments in recent years, it aims to make the documentation in this regard more precise and focused as well as compliant with International requirements.

The guidelines have also taken into account the concerns raised by various courts for prompt and timely responses in the service of documents on persons residing abroad. As an initiative, the revised guidelines have provision for service of documents on authorities of foreign country preferably within 10 days of receipt of request in respect of offences committed against women and children.

Training in mutual legal assistance in criminal matters has also been taken up for investigators, prosecutors and judicial officers.

The transnational nature of crime and the digital explosion has blurred geographical boundaries for criminal activities.  The availability of evidence and criminals outside the sovereign jurisdiction of countries has necessitated the transformation of scope and nature of the conventional investigation.

India has entered into Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties/ Agreements with 42 countries and is a signatory to various international conventions i.e. UNCAC, UNTOC, etc. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the designated ‘Central Authority’ for India. Generally, assistance is sought and received in the form of Mutual Legal Assistance Requests/Letters Rogatory and Service of Summons/Notices/Judicial documents on persons residing abroad.

In order to streamline the process of rendering/ seeking such assistance, MHA had issued guidelines regarding investigation abroad & issue of Letters Rogatory (LRs) in 2007 & regarding Service of Summons/Notices/ Judicial process on the persons residing abroad in 2009.

Over the decade, there have been substantial changes in International Cooperation based on new legislation, regulations & conventions and amendments in procedural laws all over the world including India. These changes necessitated the need for a comprehensive review of existing guidelines to keep them abreast of the modern era’s requirements.


Ministry of Home Affairs

[Press Release dt. 08-01-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka, CJ. and Mohammad Nawaz, J. directed the state government to refund the amount already deducted from the salaries of judicial officers by the end of February 2020.

The New Defined Contributory Pension Scheme was made operational to the State Government employees from 01.04.2010. This was made applicable to those employees who joined the services on or after 01.04.2006. The scheme provided for employees’ contribution of 10% of the basic pay and dearness allowance (DA) with the matching contribution from the State Government. The first petitioner is an association of the Judicial Officers in the State. The first relief claimed was for issuing a writ of mandamus seeking a direction against the respondents to clarify whether the New Pension Scheme is applicable to Judicial Officers. A writ of mandamus was also sought for directing the State of Karnataka to continue with the old pension scheme.

In a connected writ, the State Government based its submission on the Karnataka Judicial Services (Recruitment) Rules, 2004.Karnataka Civil Services Rules which are deemed to have been made under the Karnataka Civil Services Act, 1978, govern the pension payable to the government servants. It was submitted that except to the extent of the recommendations of the first and second Judicial Pay Commissions, the Judicial Officers are government servants. Karnataka Judicial Services (Recruitment) Rules, 2004 were made under Article 309 read with 233, 234 and 235 of the Constitution of India and therefore, all the Judicial Officers are civil servants.  Therefore, no merit remains in the writ petition.

Counsel for the petitioners, Shashi Kiran Shetty submitted that separate pay Commissions, the First National Judicial Pay Commission (popularly known as Justice Shetty Commission) as well as the recommendations made by the Second National Judicial Pay Commission (popularly known as Justice Padmanabhan Commission) were established to consider and recommend the pay and allowances payable to the Judicial Officers and the recommendations made by both the Commissions were accepted by the Supreme Court by issuing necessary directions to all the State Governments to implement the same. The submission, in short, was that the pay of the Judicial Officers is governed by the Orders of the Apex Court accepting both the reports with modifications and therefore, the act of applying the new pension scheme which requires 10% deduction from the salary of the Judicial Officers is completely in gross violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court.

Additional Advocate General, R. Subramanya submitted that as the payment of pension is concerned, the Judicial Officers are equivalent to the Government Servants except to an extent of certain modifications made by the first and second National Judicial Pay Commissions. He submitted that in the above mentioned Rules 2004, the word ‘service’ has been defined as ‘Karnataka State Judicial Services’ and, therefore, all the rules regulating conditions of service of the members of the State Civil Service are applicable to the Judicial Officers as well. He further submitted that in All India Judges’ Association v. Union of India, (2002) 4 SCC 274, Supreme Court appointed Second Judicial Commission headed by Justice Padmanabhan. It had recommended for continuation of the pension fixed by the First National Judicial Pay Commission at the rate of 50% of the average emoluments drawn during the 10 months preceding the age of superannuation. 

In view of the above, the Court observed that State Government, without seeking permission of the Supreme Court, has no power to tinkle with the quantum of the salaries and pension payable to the Judicial Officers. As noted earlier, the new pension scheme contemplates contribution of 10% of the basic salary and dearness allowance by the Judicial Officers and the said amount will be deducted from the salary of the Judicial Officers. Thus, looking from any angle, the act of the State Government in applying the new pension scheme to the Judicial Officers of the State appointed after 1st April 2010 and consequential act of making 10% deductions from their salary is not only completely against the recommendations of the two National Judicial Pay Commissions Report but also in breach and gross violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court and hence, the same is illegal. 

In a similar case of Vihar Durve v. State of Maharashtra, 2017 SCC Online Bom 7560, deduction of 10% of the basic salary of the Judicial Officers was challenged before a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court and the said challenge was upheld by the Bombay High Court. 

Therefore, Government Order bearing No. FD (SPL) 04 PET 2005, of 31st March 2006 (Annexure-A in Writ Petition No.44240 of 2013) is not applicable to the Judicial Officers of the Karnataka cadre.[Vijayakumar Rai v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 2186, decided on 28-11-2019]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment of following four Judicial Officers as Judges of the Orissa High Court:

  1. Shri Satya Narayan Mishra
  2. Shri Bibhu Prasad Routray
  3. Shri Gautam Sharma, and
  4. Shri Biranchi Narayan Mohanty.

AND;

Proposal for appointment of following eight Advocates as Judges of the Orissa High Court:

  1. Shri Gautam Mukherji,
  2. Shri Samir Kumar Mishra,
  3. Shri Prasanna Kumar Parhi,
  4. Ms. Savitri Ratho,
  5. Shri Prafulla Kumar Rath,
  6. Shri Durga Prasad Nanda,
  7. Shri Pravat Kumar Muduli, and
  8. Shri Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi.

On the basis of interaction and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Shri Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi, Advocate (mentioned at Sl. No. 8 above) is suitable for being appointed as Judge of the Orissa High Court.

As regards Ms. Savitri Ratho, (mentioned at Sl. No. 4 above), consideration of the proposal for her elevation is deferred for the present.

As regards S/Shri (1) Gautam Mukherji, (2) Samir Kumar Mishra, (3) Prasanna Kumar Parhi, (4) Prafulla Kumar Rath, (5) Durga Prasad Nanda, and (6) Pravat Kumar Muduli, Advocates, having regard to the material on record and all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that their cases deserve to be remitted to the High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly.

Collegium is of the considered view that Shri Bibhu Prasad Routray, Judicial Officer (mentioned at Sl. No. 2 above) is suitable for being appointed as Judge of the Orissa High Court.

As regards S/Shri (1) Satya Narayan Mishra, (2) Gautam Sharma, and (3) Biranchi Narayan Mohanty, Judicial Officers, having regard to the material on record and all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that their cases deserve to be remitted to the High Court.


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Resolution dt. 03-10-2019]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment of following seven Judicial Officers as Judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court:

1. Shri Satish Kumar Aggarwal,
2. Shri Ashok Kumar Verma,
3. Shri Sant Parkash Phutela,
4. Shri Karamjit Singh,
5. Shri Vivek Puri,
6. Mrs. Meenakshi I. Mehta, and
7. Mrs. Archana Puri

For the purpose of assessing merit and suitability of the above-named recommendees for elevation to the High Court, we have carefully scrutinized the material placed on record. On the basis of interaction and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) Ashok Kumar Verma, (2) Sant Parkash Phutela, (3) Karamjit Singh, (4) Vivek Puri, (5) Mrs. Meenakshi I. Mehta, and (6) Mrs. Archana Puri, Judicial Officers are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

As regards Shri Satish Kumar Aggarwal, having regard to the material on record and all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the
considered view that his case deserves to be remitted to the High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly.

In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that S/Shri (1) Ashok Kumar Verma, (2) Sant Parkash Phutela, (3) Karamjit Singh, (4) Vivek Puri, (5) Mrs. Meenakshi I. Mehta, and (6) Mrs. Archana Puri, Judicial Officers, be appointed as Judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Resolution dt. 26-09-2019]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment of following four Judicial Officers as Judges of the Delhi High Court:

  1. Shri Talwant Singh,
  2. Rajnish Bhatnagar
  3. Ms Asha Menon
  4. Shri Brijesh Sethi

On the basis of interaction and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) Talwant Singh, (2) Rajnish Bhatnagar, (3) Ms Asha Menon, and (4) Brijesh Sethi, are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Delhi High Court.

Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ. resolves to recommend that S/Shri (1) Talwant Singh, (2) Rajnish Bhatnagar, (3) Ms Asha Menon, and (4) Brijesh Sethi, Judicial Officers, be appointed as Judges of the Delhi High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.


[Notification dt. 06-05-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of following four Judicial Officers as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and three Judicial Officers as Judges of the Telangana High Court:

1 Ms. B.S. Bhanumathi (A.P.)
2 Shri Ch. Manavendranath Roy (A.P.)
3 Smt. P. Sree Sudha (Telangana)
4 Shri M.Venkata Ramana (A.P.)
5 Smt. C. Sumalatha (Telangana)
6 Shri A. Hari Haranadha Sarma (A.P.)
7 Shri N. Tukaramji (Telangana)

In order to ascertain suitability of the above-named recommendees mentioned at Sl. Nos. 3, 5 and 7 above, for elevation to the Telangana High Court, we have consulted our colleague conversant with the affairs of the Telangana High Court.

As regards recommendees at Sl. Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 6 above, there is no sitting Judge in the Supreme Court outside the Collegium for being consulted for this purpose.

“The Collegium is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) Ch. Manavendranath Roy, and (2) M. Venkata Ramana (mentioned at Sl. Nos. 2 and 4 above) are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.”

As regards (1) Ms. B.S. Bhanumathi, (2) Smt. P. Sree Sudha, (3) Smt. C. Sumalatha (4) Shri A. Hari Haranadha Sarma, and (5) Shri N. Tukaramji (mentioned at Sl. Nos.1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 above), consideration of the proposal for their elevation is deferred for the present.

Collegium resolves to recommend that S/Shri (1) Ch. Manavendranath Roy, and (2) M. Venkata Ramana, Judicial Officers, be appointed as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.


Collegium Resolutions

[Dated: 15-04-2019]

Supreme Court of India