To increase the strength of the Bombay High Court, the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of three judicial officers for appointment as judges of the HC. Earlier, names of two of these judicial officers were overlooked for appointment as HC judges.
In a resolution passed by the SC Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, on October 10, names of judicial officers Abhay Jainarayanji Mantri, Shyam Chhaganlal Chandak and Neeraj Pradeep Dhote were recommended to be appointed as Bombay HC judges.
Their names had been first recommended by the Bombay High Court Collegium on June 27.
The names will not be forwarded to the Central government, which will take the final decision of their appointment as HC judges.
In a three-page resolution, the SC Collegium noted that two of the officers had previously been overlooked for appointment as judges of the Bombay High Court.
However, considering that the High Court Collegium and consultee-judges found them “fit and suitable”, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended their appointment.
“It appears from the opinion of one of the consultee-judges that the officer was previously overlooked for appointment as a judge of the High Court,” the resolution read.
It added, “However, bearing in mind the fact that the High Court Collegium and consultee-judges have found him fit and suitable as also the assessment of the Government of India on the file, the Collegium recommends that the officer is suitable for appointment as a judge of the High Court of Bombay.”
The resolution added that their “seniority be fixed as per the existing practice”.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Collegium also recorded that it was conscious of the fact that certain senior judicial officers were overlooked by the High Court Collegium.
“We have gone through the Minutes of the High Court Collegium and are in agreement with the justification given by the High Court Collegium for not recommending their names,” it said.
At present, the Bombay HC functions with 66 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 94. Later this month, one of the senior judges, Sunil Shukre, is due to retire. After his retirement, the strength will go down to 65.