The Supreme Court collegium has cleared the names of nine judicial officers for appointment as judges of the Kerala and Madras High courts but rejected three including two on account of adverse reports from the Intelligence Bureau.
Of the three recommendations that were declined by the collegium, the two turned down due to the IB reports are A. Zakir Hussain and Dr. K. Arul.
The collegium, in both the cases, said that "keeping in view the material on record, including the report of Intelligence Bureau, he is not found suitable for elevation to the High Court Bench."
Both Hussain and Arul were part of six judicial officers who were recommended for appointment as High Court judges by the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on January 23.
Hussain was Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore (Chennai) and Arul was District Judge, Additional Director of the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy & Officer on Special Duty, Madras High Court.
Another judicial officer who lost on becoming Madras High court judge include Vasudevan V. Nadathur. He was Judicial Member, ITAT, Kolkata when his name was recommended along with three others by the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on December 16, 2016.
In his case, of the two judges of the Supreme Court who are conversant with the affairs of the Madras High Court and were consulted, one did not offer any view while the other did not find him suitable for elevation.
The top court collegium said that as per its records, Nadathur's name was also recommended by the Calcutta High Court Collegium on November 28, 2016 but West Bengal disagreed.
Even earlier a proposal for his elevation was initiated by Bombay High Court Collegium but was rejected by the Supreme Court Collegium on August 1, 2013.
Further a complaint pointing out this fact was also received in the office of the Chief Justice of India.
Taking note of "the views of the consultee-Judges and the material on record", the collegium said that in its considered opinion, Nadathur is not suitable for elevation to the High Court.
In the case of B. Sarodjiny Devy, the Principal District Judge at Villipuram, it sought further report from the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on the inquiry pending against her. Deferring the decision to elevate her to the high court, the collegium said that the proposal be resubmitted after receipt of information from the Chief Justice.
Those who were successful in making to the Kerala High Court are Ashok Menon, Annie John and Narayana Pisharadi R, while R. Ramathilagam, R. Tharani, P. Rajamanickam, T. Krishnavalli, R. Pongiappan and R. Hemalatha are for the Madras High Court.
The top court collegium had on October 3 decided to make public the information on the recommendation for the appointment, elevation and the transfer of judges to the High Courts and to itself.
The information about 13 proposals that were considered by the top court collegium was uploaded on the top court website in pursuance to its October 3 resolution to "ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system."
The 13 recommendations for the appointment of judicial officers too were considered and decided during October 3 meeting of the collegium.