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Monday, March 27, 2023

HC collegium to meet on Monday to pick judges

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Ending a long wait, the collegium of the Kerala High Court met on Friday to consider the list of persons to be elevated as judges of the High Court. The collegium was meeting after a hiatus of nearly a year and a half.

The Kerala collegium, it’s learnt, will meet again on Monday to finalise the list of district judges to be nominated as judges of the higher judiciary. The names of six senior judges from the district judiciary were earlier considered for elevation. These names are likely to be considered again on Monday, judicial sources indicated.

Delay criticised

The delay in convening the collegium and filling up the vacancies of judges had come under criticism against the backdrop of the pendency of cases in the Kerala High Court.

The High Court had scrutinised the judgments of 12 senior judges from the district judiciary one year ago as part of the evaluation process. However, it had not made any recommendations as the collegium was not convened. Currently, there are six vacancies of High Court judges. One of the serving judges will demit office in the coming weeks.


The meeting of the collegium held last week closely follows the precedent in the higher judiciary that the collegium members shall not make any recommendations during their last month in service. Chief Justice of Kerala S. Manikumar is due to retire on April 23, judicial sources indicated.

Besides the Chief Justice, two senior judges, K. Vinod Chandran and S. V. Bhatti, are the members of the collegium.

Incidentally, the Union government and the Supreme Court had been at loggerheads over the appointment and transfer of judges to various High Courts and Supreme Courts. Though the apex court collegium had recommended the transfer of Justice K. Vinod Chandran to the High Courts of Mumbai, Guwahati, and Patna as its Chief Justice, the Union government had not cleared it. However, the transfer order is likely to be issued this week, sources indicated.

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