The Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its earlier recommendation for appointing advocate R John Sathyan as a judge of the Madras High Court, who had shared on social media an article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rejecting the objections of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to Sathyan’s social media posts including the one sharing an article critical of the Prime Minister, the three-judge Collegium on January 17 reiterated its February 16, 2022 recommendation for his appointment as High Court judge.
The Collegium headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph noted that the IB, while objecting to Sathyan’s social media posts, has reported that he has a good personal, professional image and nothing adverse has been found with regard to his integrity.
“All the consultee-judges had a favourable opinion about the suitability of Shri Sathyan. The Intelligence Bureau has reported that he enjoys a good personal and professional image and that nothing adverse has come to notice against his integrity. Shri Sathyan belongs to the Christian community. The IB report notes that he does not have any overt political leanings. In this backdrop, the adverse comments of the IB extracted above in respect of posts made by him… will not impinge on the suitability, character or integrity of Shri Sathyan,” the resolution of the Collegium read.
It added: “In this view, the Collegium is of the considered opinion that R John Sathyan is fit and suitable for being appointed as a Judge of the Madras High Court. The Collegium, therefore, resolves to reiterate its recommendation dated February 16, 2022 for appointment of R John Sathyan, advocate, as a Judge of the Madras High Court.”
It recommended that Sathyan be given precedence in the matter of appointment as judge over certain names separately recommended in the Collegium meeting held in January 17 for appointment as judges of the Madras High Court.
“The IB report indicates as under: “As per open sources, two posts made by him, i.e. sharing of an article published in ‘The Quint’, which was critical of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and another post regarding committing of suicide by medical aspirant Anitha, who ended her life in 2017 since she was unable to clear NEET, portraying it as a killing by ‘political betrayal’ and a tag stating ‘shame of you India’ came to notice,” the resolution said.