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Second instance of Modi govt returning Collegium's recommendation for appointment of SC judges

Earlier Collegium refused to accept recpmmendation about Gopal Subramanium

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Second instance of Modi govt returning Collegium's recommendation for appointment of SC judges
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It is for the second time since the NDA government assumed office in May 2014 that the controversy over the appointment of judges for the Supreme Court has hogged the limelight. 

The Narendra Modi government, which assumed office on May 25, 2014, had returned the recommendation of the Collegium headed by then Chief Justice R M Lodha on the appointment of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as a judge of the Supreme Court. Subramanium's name was recommended along with then Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Arun Mishra, Orissa High Court Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and senior advocate Rohinton Nariman in the first week of May 2014.

While the other three are now the apex court judges, Subramanium had preferred to opt himself out of the race after the government returned his name for reconsideration by the Collegium.  It was widely reported that the NDA government was opposed to Subramanium as he, as Additional Solicitor General and Solicitor General during the UPA-I and UPA-II regimes, had strongly targeted the Gujarat government under Modi as the Chief Minister in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and other related cases.

During the UPA rule, the government had asked the Collegium to reconsider its recommendation to elevate then Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran as an apex court judge in the wake of allegations of corruption and land grabbing against him. The Collegium had later dropped his name and he was transferred as Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court from where he resigned after an impeachment motion was adopted against him. There have been several other instances when the Collegium's recommendations for appointing High Court judges have been returned and, in many cases, the Collegium has accepted the refusal of the government.

 

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