The Supreme Court of India’s Collegium has recommended the names of Justice Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai and Justice Surya Kant for elevation to the nation’s highest court. “While recommending the names of Mr. Justice Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai and Mr. Justice Surya Kant, the Collegium has taken into consideration combined seniority on all-India basis of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts, apart from their competence, conduct and integrity,” the collegium’s resolution, which was uploaded to the apex court’s website, said. Justice Gavai, currently ranked eighth in the all-India seniority list of high court judges, was appointed as judge of the Bombay High Court in 2003 and has been on its bench since then. He is ranked fourth in the seniority list at the Bombay High Court.
“His recommendation, in no way, is to be misconstrued to mean that three senior-most Judges from Bombay High Court (two of whom are serving as Chief Justices) are less suitable than Mr. Justice Gavai,” the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium said. “On his appointment, the Supreme Court Bench will have a Judge belonging to Scheduled Caste category after about a decade.”
Justice Surya Kant is ranked eleventh on all-India seniority list of high court judges and was appointed as judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on Jan. 9, 2004 and was later elevated as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court. The collegium also reiterated the names of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice AS Bopanna for elevation to the Supreme Court. By doing so, it has rejected the objections of the central government. “The Collegium is of the view that, though inter-se seniority amongst Judges in their High Courts and their combined seniority on all-India basis should be given due weightage, merit should be the predominant consideration,” according to the notice. “The Collegium accordingly kept in mind these parameters while recommending the above two names.
The names of the two judges were sent back by the central government for reconsideration when the collegium had recommended their elevation on April 12, 2019.