RAIPUR: The State Bar Council of Chhattisgarh has registered its strong protest against the recommended names of senior advocates to the Supreme Court Collegium for judgeship of the State High Court alleging “nepotism and favouritism”.
The Council has passed a resolution in this regard and submitted to the President of India, Prime Minister’s Office and the Chief Justice of India soliciting their intervention for the reconsideration of the names sent to the Collegium by the High Court.
“Ironically we learnt from the media about four names being recommended without proper scrutiny. Advocate Abhishek Sinha and advocate Ashish Srivastava are close relatives of sitting Chhattisgarh high court judges.
Another advocate Sunil Pillai has neither registered himself with the bar council of Chhattisgarh nor practiced in the High Court during the last ten years”, alleged Kosh Ram Sahu, chairman of the State Bar Council.
A member of the Bar Council of India and senior lawyer Shailendra Dubey told The New Indian Express that the State Bar Council was left with no option except to pass an unprecedented resolution for the first time in its 17 years of
“With no transparency followed, the interest and the rights of senior competent advocates practicing for decades were virtually usurped. We were shocked to find preferential treatment being followed while recommending the names of advocates for judgeship in the high court,” Dubey said.
The apex court had earlier passed a stricture against one of the recommended names (of advocate from Chhattisgarh) in an election petition couple of years ago for deliberately delaying the hearing process saying that the advocate had vitiated the reputation of the noble profession in the case of Ashok Sahu versus Mohd Akbar.
“So, why the name of such an advocate was sent to the Collegium?” asked Sahu.
In one of the past observations on such alleged favouritism being followed, the then Supreme Court justice Markandey Katju had said nepotism is ruining the basis structure of the judicial system and if suitable steps are not taken, the situation might deteriorate further.
Last year in September, the apex court collegium headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur rejected 11 recommended names besides six others from the State judicial services for appointment as judges in the Allahabad high court. Many candidates rejected by the collegium were reportedly found to be relatives of either sitting or former judges and some were kin of politicians.