The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the names of three advocates, VG Arun, N Nagaresh, and PV Kunhikrishnan, for appointment as judges of the Kerala High Court. The three names are among the seven recommended by the Kerala High Court collegium on March 7 for appointment as Kerala HC judges.
The Supreme Court collegium comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph took the decision after interacting with all seven candidates on 8 October.
The other four advocates recommended by the Kerala HC collegium were S. Ramesh, Viju Abraham, George Varghese and P. Gopal.
After considering the recommendations and meeting the seven advocates, the SC collegium deferred the proposal for appointment of S. Ramesh, Viju Abraham, and George Varghese.
“The proposal for their elevation would be taken up for consideration by the
Collegium after some time,” said the court.
The collegium decided not to recommend the name of About Advocate P. Gopal saying he did not qualify the existing norms, as “his average net professional annual income for the preceding five years being less than the prescribed income limit applicable in case of Bar members”.
Clearing the three names, the court said: “On the basis of interaction and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) V.G.Arun, (2) N. Nagaresh, and (3) P.V.Kunhikrishnan…are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Kerala High Court.”
The Supreme Court collegium also cleared the names of two judicial officers recommended by the HC collegium for appointment as judges. The two judicial officers are TV Anilkumar and N Anil Kumar.
Announcing its decision, the collegium also said: “We have also taken note of the certain complaints received in the office of Chief Justice of India making allegations against some of the above-named recommendees. On examination, we do not find any prima facie substance in these complaints, which deserve to be ignored.”
It may be recalled that the Kerala HC Collegium’s recommendations had been challenged in the same court with a writ petition alleging that kith and kin of serving/retired judges and an advocate-general had been selected and merit ignored.
The Kerala High Court had dismissed the petition.