New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to make "sure that most of what is expected is done" in connection with the appointment & transfer of judges.
During the hearing, a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the court is also concerned with the issue and the issue is more than one. Advocate Prashant Bhushan said, "It cannot go on endlessly like this...at some point your lordship will have to crack the whip. Otherwise, it will go on endlessly like this."
Justice Kaul said, "We are equally concerned with what is happening, but sometimes..."
Bhushan said the Central government selectively notified appointments of some judges and others they do not act upon and also transfer of judges is also not acted upon by the government, and so on.
Justice Kaul said, "I am putting it after two weeks. Please make sure most of what is expected is done. Please communicate to the Attorney General. List on March 2."
Taking up a contempt plea by the Advocates Association, Bengaluru, a bench presided over by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, "We are concerned about certain issues."
Senior advocate Arvind P. Datar, representing the petitioner, submitted that a chart has been prepared and one category is related to the appointment of chief justices on which some appointments were made while some others are pending. The bench said that there has to be consent from the state government in this regard.
The court put the matter for consideration on March 2 as counsel on behalf of Attorney General R. Venkataramani sought a short adjournment.
On February 3, the Supreme Court had warned the Centre on the delay in clearing the transfer of high court judges recommended by the apex court collegium, saying it may result in both administrative and judicial actions which may not be palatable.
The apex court told the Attorney General R. Venkataramani, representing the Centre, "Don't make us take a stand which will be very uncomfortable...", and further added that if transfer of judges is kept pending then it is a serious issue.
Justice Kaul said transfer is a very serious issue and warned against the interference of third parties in the process. The bench orally observed, "We will have to take a difficult decision. Do not make us take a hard stand," and told the AG, who said the court may not record anything as it is happening.
The Central government recently appointed seven new judges to the Supreme Court & a host of other judges as chief justice of various high courts.
The top court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Advocates Association of Bangalore against Centre breaching the timeline for judicial appointments. Earlier, the apex court had expressed its displeasure over the delay in clearing of the names approved by the collegium for appointments.