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21 additional judges of three HCs get extension

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Clearing the first set of recommendations made by the collegium after its comeback, the government has given extension to 21 additional judges of three high courts.

The government had earlier cleared the extension of Bombay High Court additional judge V L Achliya made by the collegium before it was scrapped on April 13 when the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and an accompanying Constitutional Amendment Act were brought into force.

Since the members of the collegium who had recommended his name were the same, the government had approved Achliya's extension after the old system staged a comeback when the Supreme Court struck down the NJAC Act.

Separate Law Ministry statements said seven additional judges from the Calcutta High Court, nine from the Andhra Pradesh/Telangana High Court and five from the Karnataka High Court have been granted extension.

The additional judges from Calcutta High Court granted extension are Samapati Chatterjee, Sahidullah Munshi, Subrata Talukdar, Tapabrata Chakraborty, Arindam Sinha, Arijit Banerjee and Debangsu Basak. Their term has been extended for a period of three months with effect from October 30.

Additional judges from the Karnataka High Court granted three-month extension with effect from October 24 are Arakalagudu Venkataramaiah Chandrashekara, Rathnakala, Budihal Rudrappa Bhimappa, Pradeep Dattatraya Waingankar and Koratagere Narasimha Murthy Phaneendra.

The nine additional judges from Andhra Pradesh/Telangana High Court granted three-month extension with effect from October 23 are Bulusu Siva Sankara Rao, Mandhata Seetharama Murti, Saripella Ravi Kumar, Upmaka Durga Prasad Rao, Talluri Sunil Chowdary, Mallavolu Satyanarayana Murthy, Misrilal Sunil Kishore Jaiswal, Ambati Shankar Narayana and Anis.

Additional judges are appointed for a period of two years following which most of them are elevated as permanent judges.

There was no system in place between April 13 and October 16 on appointments to the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts. The NJAC Act was notified on April 13, but it was declared as unconstitutional by the apex court on October 16.

The NJAC had failed to function as Chief Justice of India Justice H L Dattu had refused to be a part of it.

To overcome shortage of judges when the NJAC case was being heard by a Supreme Court Bench, government had sought permission of the apex court to give extension to additional judges in various high courts whose tenure of two years was coming to an end as an interim measure.

The Law Ministry had on October 18 sent files of 21 additional judges to the collegium whose terms are coming to an end by October 30 for its immediate consideration.

Accepting the recommendation of the collegium, the extension or 'reappointment' was cleared by the government on October 19 and sent to the President for his assent.

Now the collegium may meet in the coming days to decide on whether these additional judges should be elevated as permanent judges.

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First Published: Mon, October 26 2015. 19:13 IST