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SC Spotlights Manipur HC Chief Justice Appointment, Expects Swift Notification

The Supreme Court, which was hearing multiple pleas regarding the delay in the appointment and transfer of judges, viewed this development as positive.

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In a recent development, the Supreme Court has addressed the prolonged delay in the appointment of the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court. This comes more than three months after the Supreme Court collegium recommended Delhi High Court judge Siddharth Mridul for the position. The Centre has finally acknowledged the matter and assured that the appointment will be notified "shortly."

During the proceedings, the Centre informed the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia that the files pertaining to the transfer of 14 high court judges have been cleared, while the remaining 12 are currently under review, PTI reported. 

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The Supreme Court, which was hearing multiple pleas regarding the delay in the appointment and transfer of judges, viewed this development as positive. Approximately 70 names for appointments and transfers, pending since November 2022 and not forwarded to the collegium, have now reached the Supreme Court collegium. The court plans to expedite the processing of these recommendations and aims to conclude the process before the October vacation.

The court also acknowledged that the government did not express reservations for a significant number of names recommended by high court collegiums. However, it questioned the need for court intervention to expedite these processes.

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Justice Kaul expressed his hope that the Attorney General's assurance that court intervention will not be necessary would be upheld. The court emphasized that when the government raises objections and the collegium overrules them, the government has the right to examine the recommendations further. However, if the collegium reiterates the names, appointments must proceed.

The court also addressed the issue of the transfer of 26 high court judges, noting that files for 14 cases have been cleared, and notifications will be issued shortly, while the remaining 12 are under review. Justice Kaul emphasized the importance of resolving these matters promptly and pledged to monitor progress closely.

The Supreme Court reiterated the significance of adhering to established procedures for judge appointments and hoped to avoid having to monitor the process continually. The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for October 20, where further progress will be assessed.

This development highlights the ongoing challenges and delays in the appointment of judges through the collegium system, a matter of contention between the Supreme Court and the Centre. The court had previously expressed concern over the delay and urged the Attorney General to address the issue promptly.

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