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SC Collegium recommends names of 4 judicial officers for appointment as Judges of Madras High Court

The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the elevation of five advocates and three judicial officers as judges of the Madras High Court.

Chief Justice D.Y. The collegium of Justices K.K. Chandrachud, and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph recommended the following individuals:

1.Shri R. Sakthivel

2.Shri P. Dhanbal

3.Shri Chinnasamy Kumarappan and

4.Shri K. Rajasekhar

Their names were recommended by the High Court Collegium on August 10, 2022. After this, the collegium consulted the advisory judges of the Intelligence Bureau and the Supreme Court.

With regard to Sakthivel, Dhanbal and Rajasekhar, the collegium had in January “taken note of the Intelligence Bureau report and, within two weeks, sent the proposal back to the Department of Justice with a request to submit specific material, if any.” On the basis of which the intelligence bureau report was prepared. “

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“On January 24, 2023, the Department of Justice sent a communication to the Intelligence Bureau seeking specific information regarding the above designated judicial officer. By its communication dated 01 February 2023, the Intelligence Bureau has stated that it has no additional inputs other than earlier inputs in respect of the above designated judicial officer,” the collegium said,


SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

The Collegium of the Supreme Court recommended the names of the
four District Judges for appointment as Judges of the Madras High Court in
the following terms:
(i) Shri R Sakthivel,
(ii) Shri P Dhanabal,
(iii) Shri Chinnasamy Kumarappan, and
(iv) Shri K Rajasekar.
The recommendation made by the High Court Collegium on 10
August 2022 for appointment of the four judicial officers as Judges of the
Madras High Court has the concurrence of the Chief Minister and the
Governor of Tamil Nadu. The file was received from the Department of
Justice on 05 January 2023.
In order to ascertain the fitness and suitability of the above-named
judicial officers for elevation to the High Court, in terms of the Memorandum
of Procedure, this Collegium has consulted the Judges of the Supreme Court
conversant with the affairs of the Madras High Court.

Shri R Sakthivel (Sl No 1 above)
On 17 January 2023, the Collegium took note of the report of the
Intelligence Bureau and referred back the proposal to the Department of
Justice with a request to furnish, within two weeks, specific material, if any,
on the basis of which the report of the Intelligence Bureau was formulated.
On 24 January 2023, the Department of Justice addressed a communication to
the Intelligence Bureau seeking specific inputs in respect of the above-named
judicial officer. By its communication dated 01 February 2023, the
Intelligence Bureau has stated that it does not have any additional inputs in
addition to the earlier inputs in respect of the above-named judicial officer.
The opinion of the consultee-judges in the Supreme Court indicates
that the above-named judicial officer is fit and suitable for appointment as a
Judge of the High Court. The Judgment Assessment Committee has rated his
judgments as very good. The Department of Justice has indicated that Shri R.
Sakthivel may be considered for appointment.
Hence, in the above backdrop and bearing in mind all the relevant
circumstances noted above, the Collegium is of the considered opinion that
Shri R. Sakthivel is fit and suitable for appointment as a Judge of the Madras
High Court.

Shri P Dhanabal (Sl No 2 above)
On 17 January 2023, the Collegium took note of the report of the
Intelligence Bureau and referred back the proposal to the Department of
Justice with a request to furnish, within two weeks, specific material, if any,
on the basis of which the report of the Intelligence Bureau was formulated.
On 24 January 2023, the Department of Justice addressed a communication to
the Intelligence Bureau seeking specific inputs in respect of the above-named
judicial officer. By its communication dated 01 February 2023, the
Intelligence Bureau has stated that it does not have any additional inputs in
addition to the earlier inputs in respect of the above-named judicial officer.
The opinion of the consultee-judges in the Supreme Court indicates
that the above-named judicial officer is fit and suitable for appointment as a
Judge of the High Court. The Judgment Assessment Committee has rated his
judgments as very good. The Department of Justice has indicated that Shri P
Dhanabal may be considered for appointment.
Hence, in the above backdrop and bearing in mind all the relevant
circumstances noted above, the Collegium is of the considered opinion that
Shri P Dhanabal is fit and suitable for appointment as a Judge of the Madras
High Court.

Shri Chinnasamy Kumarappan (Sl No 3 above)
The Judgment Assessment Committee has rated his judgments as very
good. The report of the Intelligence Bureau does not contain any material
adverse to the candidate. The consultee-judges have recommended that he is
fit and suitable for appointment as a Judge of the High Court.
Bearing in mind all the relevant aspects noted above, the Collegium is
of the considered opinion that Shri Chinnasamy Kumarappan is fit and suitable
for appointment as a Judge of the Madras High Court.

Shri K Rajasekar (Sl No 4 above)
On 17 January 2023, the Collegium took note of the report of the
Intelligence Bureau and referred back the proposal to the Department of
Justice with a request to furnish, within two weeks, specific material, if any,
on the basis of which the report of the Intelligence Bureau was formulated.
On 24 January 2023, the Department of Justice addressed a communication to
the Intelligence Bureau seeking specific inputs in respect of the above-named
judicial officer. By its communication dated 01 February 2023, the
Intelligence Bureau has stated that it does not have any additional inputs in
addition to the earlier inputs in respect of the above-named judicial officer.
We have perused the opinion of the consultee-judges in the Supreme
Court on the suitability of Shri K Rajasekar for appointment as a Judge of the
High Court. The Judgment Assessment Committee has rated his judgments as
very good. The Department of Justice has indicated that Shri K Rajasekar may
be considered for appointment.
Hence, in the above backdrop and bearing in mind all the relevant
circumstances noted above, the Collegium is of the considered opinion that
Shri K Rajasekar is fit and suitable for appointment as a Judge of the Madras
High Court.

PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS:
By its resolution dated 17 January 2023, the Collegium of the Supreme
Court recommended the appointment of Shri Ramaswamy Neelakandan,
Advocate practicing before the Madras High Court as a Judge of the High
Court. As on 31.01.2023, Shri Ramaswamy Neelakandan was 48.07 years of
age while Shri K Rajasekar on that date was 47.09 years of age. Shri
Neelakandan who is a member of the Bar has been recommended earlier in
point of time must be appointed before Shri Rajasekar is appointed. Otherwise,
Shri Rajasekar, who is a judicial officer and younger than Shri Neelakandan,
would rank senior to Shri Neelakandan. Such a deviation in seniority would
be unfair and against the settled convention. Hence, while recommending the
name of Shri K Rajasekar for elevation, the Collegium is of the view that his
appointment should be notified after the appointment of Shri Ramaswamy
Neelakandan is notified.
The Collegium is of the considered view that necessary action for the
issuance of a notification for the elevation of persons who have been
recommended earlier in point of time should be taken at the earliest including
the name of Shri R John Sathyan which has been reiterated by this Collegium
on 17 January 2023. The names which have been recommended earlier in
point of time including the reiterated names ought not to be withheld or
overlooked as this disturbs their seniority whereas those recommended later
steal march on them. Loss of seniority of candidates recommended earlier in
point of time has been noted by the Collegium and is a matter of grave concern.
The Collegium, therefore, resolves to recommend that S/Shri (i) R
Sakthivel, (ii) P Dhanabal, (iii) Chinnasamy Kumparappan and (iv) K
Rajasekar, Judicial Officers, be appointed as Judges of the Madras High
Court. Their seniority be fixed in terms of the above resolution.
( Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud ), C.J.I.
( Sanjay Kishan Kaul ), J.
( K.M. Joseph ), J.
21 March 2023

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