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Did not insist on any name: Justice Kaul – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Justice Sanjay KKaul, who retired recently, said there was no question of “insistence of appointment” of those suggested by him and all recommendations were made by consensus. He said the claim that other collegium members had reservations and he pushed the names were “a flight of imagination”.
“If I had endeavoured to seek that some people are elevated, it is based on reasons of merit and seniority.I really do not know how the press can be privy to what has happened within the four walls where we met but they are free to write and I contest the accuracy of what is mentioned by you,” he said in a written response to TOI.
Holding that he had strong reservations about the use of the word ‘coercion’ in asking the Union government to expeditiously appoint some people as HC judges, the retired judge said, “The timeline was laid down by three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of which I was a member and on an application being filed for contempt of the timeline, the same was placed before a bench presided by me. I had issued notice but not as contempt in those proceedings where the matter was monitored. These were names cleared by the collegium and awaiting appointment. Implementing a judgment of the court can hardly be ‘coercion’.”
Justice Kaul said there was no question of disillusionment with the collegium system but the process of appointments had faced a challenge post the NJAC. “Insofar as your insinuation of a judge of the Jammu & Kashmir HC is concerned, no name had come up before the collegium.
Again, as far as Madhya Pradesh HC judge’s name for appointment as a judge of the SC is concerned, various names are discussed in the collegium and (those) which ultimately find a consensus are recommended. There has been no supersession of any senior judge of the HC for appointment as chief justice of an HC and the senior-most judge was recommended as per the consensus,” he added.
He went on to say that the CJI had referred to the collegium working smoothly in open forums and “complimented me personally” on the assistance rendered as a member of the collegium.
“You are right to the extent that I was opposed to any secretive and backdoor consultations between the collegium and the government and insisted on an open and transparent discussion but that did not mean putting the discussion in public domain and leaking the same to third parties. The open discussion was never envisaged to be live-streamed so as to jeopardise the career of the candidates. I fail to appreciate how the reputation of any candidate can be affected in this system,” he said.


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