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SC slams centre's 'pick and choose approach' in Sikh judges' appointment

  • SC criticizes Centre's selective delay in approving the appointment of two Sikh lawyers as judges of Punjab and Haryana HC
  • Concerns raised over disrupted seniority and fairness in the appointment process
  • Despite explanations of election-related delays, SC notes that only a fraction of recommended names has been approved

21 Nov 2023
SC slams centre's 'pick and choose approach' in Sikh judges' appointment

The Supreme Court on Monday criticized the Centre's "pick and choose approach" regarding the delay in appointing two Sikh lawyers as judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The court expressed concern over the delayed clearance for advocates Harmeet Singh Grewal and Deepinder Singh Nalwa, disrupting seniority among recommended judges. They were recommended for appointment by the Collegium on October 17 along with three other lawyers. However, the Centre on November 2 notified the appointment of only three lawyers out of a list of five.

Justice Kaul questioned the delay, emphasizing that such an approach disturbed the seniority among those recommended for judgeships and it "did not send a good signal".

The Attorney General cited election-related delays, but the court noted that not even 50% of the recommended names had been cleared.

The court, however, remarked that not even 50 per cent of the names have been cleared. "We had considered the inputs. You, by detaining, have affected the seniority," it added.
The court in its order noted that out of the remaining eleven names recommended for transfer, five have been transferred and six transfers are pending. It also said that eight candidates have not been appointed from recently reiterated names and for five names, the government has not replied with its comments.

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