Taking a dig at advocates and Bar Association leaders who filed a PIL opposing the list of nine names forwarded by the High Court to the Supreme Court for appointment as judges, the Madras High Court today said if this type of unhealthy trend continued, all cases would end being transferred to other courts.
A division bench, headed by Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice P R Shivakumar, observed that the advocates and Bar Association leaders, who earlier demanded their participation in the selection process of the High Court judges, are now suggesting which case has to be posted for hearing and which judge should hear it.
The Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) secretary Arivazhagan had filed a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre to return the list of nine names recommended by the High Court for appointment as judges on grounds, including “arbitrariness”, in the process of selection and that it had ignored eligible candidates from ‘un-represented’ and ‘under-represented’ communities.
When the PIL was posted before the present bench on February 24, the Association leaders gave a representation saying a different bench should hear the case as Justice Ramasubramanian was part of the discussion relating to the appointment and he belonged to Brahmin community, which they said was “over-represented in the High Court.
He had then rejected the demand saying the representation had already been refused to be accepted by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
Today also, the judge rejected the plea for transferring the case to another bench, saying advocates are now trying to decide as to which bench should hear which case.
Referring to a TV debate on judges appointment in which MHAA president R C Paul Kanagaraj participated, the judge said he too was ready to participate in a debate on the issue and expose the “false” statements spread by advocates.
He also rejected the Association president S Prabakaran’s stand that once an impression of bias rises in advocates’ minds, the judge should recuse himself from the case and adjourned the matter by two weeks, on request from the lawyers.