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Supersession of district judges: Supreme Court seeks response of Himachal Pradesh High Court Registrar

The Bench was hearing a plea filed by district judges Chirag Bhanu Singh and Arvind Malhotra contending that the Himachal Pradesh High Court Collegium overlooked their merit and seniority and superseded them to recommend other judges for elevation as High Court judges.

This, despite a January 4 Supreme Court Collegium resolution (not available online) to consider their elevation to the High Court. They also pointed out that the Union Law Ministry had also endorsed their elevation.

In this light, the petitioners sought an interim stay on the most recent recommendation of the High Court Collegium.

“The action of the Respondents in calling for the judgments of the officers junior to the Petitioners amounts to ignoring the seniority of the petitioners and is violative of the Petitioner’s right under Article 14 and Article 16 of the Constitution of India…The entire process adopted by the High Court collegium stands procedurally and substantially vitiated and contrary to established constitutional convention. The action of the Hon’ble Chief Justice and the collegium is therefore liable to set aside”.

Source: Barandbench

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