Taking on the NDA government, the Supreme Court collegium has once again recommended the name of Karnataka High Court judge KL Manjunath to be appointed as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The development came a day after reports stated that the Narendra Modi government has returned the collegium file recommending elevation of KL Manjunath.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was reported to have returned the file as a senior Supreme Court judge had written an adverse note against Manjunath – the seniormost judge of the Karnataka High Court – questioning his elevation.
While the senior SC judge had been consulted by Chief Justice RM Lodha on Manjunath’s elevation, the former’s adverse note was however ignored by the collegium while making the initial recommendation to the government.
The decision by the Law Minister was taken after consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, the apex court collegium, after looking into the Centre’s concerns, found no merit in the complaints against Justice Manjunath. Consequently, it has reiterated its recommendation to elevate Justice Manjunath as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
As regards the Central government, it now has no other option but to elevate Justice Manjunath.
The development came just days after the government, in a similar move, sent back a recommendation of the SC collegium, rejecting former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium’s name for appointment as an SC judge.
The CJI had publicly disapproved the government’s decision.