New Delhi, July 16 (): NDA government’s move to muzzle the Supreme Court collegium has got a rebuff as it once again recommended the name of Manjunath the Karnataka High Court judge to be elevated as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The development came after the NDA government returned the collegium file, asking it to reconsider the elevation of KL Manjunath.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Law minister in consultation with Modi had sent the file as a senior Supreme Court judge who had given an adverse note against Manjunath to the collegium was overlooked. CJI Lodha heard out the objections but went ahead and put the name in the list.
The apex court collegium debated the Centre’s concerns, and found no merit in the charges against Justice Manjunath. Following this, the collegium has once again reiterated its proposal to elevate Justice Manjunath as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Now, the NDA ministry has no other way but to send it to President for approval. A week back, NDA taking a practice followed by UPA sent back a file sent by collegium that had elevation of Gopal Subramaniam the ex-SG in the list to be appointed SC judge. He was under pressure as reports were leaked about him having met A Raja’s lawyer and accepting a swimming pool membership in a five star hotel from Nir Radia the lobbyist, all the while he was CBI lawyer arguing the 2G case.
Gopal hit back saying that his report on Sohrabudin case which indicted Amit Shah was the real reason. Gopal however withdrew from the posting even before CJI could put it again for approval. The CJI had publicly told NDA ministry to not play around with independence of the judiciary.
Earlier, NDA in the opposition had criticized UPA for arm-twisting the judiciary.