The government has cleared appointments of five judges for the high courts of Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh and notified the transfer of Justice Rajiv Shakdher, judge of the Madras high court, back to the parent Delhi High Court.
Justice Shakdher’s transfer more than a year ago to Madras HC was seen by the legal fraternity as lacking ‘transparency’ given his two bold judgments.
In one of the judgments in 2015, Justice Shakdher had quashed a lookout notice by the government against Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai, who was offloaded from a London flight at Delhi airport. In another judgement in 2013, he had struck down the policy of the apex court appointing law clerks. Many senior jurists wrote to the then chief justice of India complaining against the collegium’s decision to transfer the judge.
The law ministry has notified the transfer of Justice Shakdher and he has been asked to join on or before January 16. The law ministry issued separate notifications for appointments of three additional judges for the high court of Jharkhand and two additional judges for the Himachal Pradesh HC on Thursday for a two-year period after which they may be considered for appointment as permanent judges.
The three additional judges of Jharkhand HC are Justices Rajesh Kumar, Anubha Rawat Choudhary and Kailash Prasad Deo. The two additional judges appointed in the Himachal Pradesh HC are Justices Sandeep Sharma and Chander Bhusan. In a December 31 notification, the law ministry appointed Justice Ved Prakash Sharma as permanent judge of Madhya Pradesh HC.
In another notification Justice Kailash Chandra Sharma has been appointed permanent judge of the Rajasthan HC and Justice G Narendra appointed permanent judge of Karnataka HC.