Supreme Court, in a seven-page judicial order, emphasized that around 213 names recommended for the appointment in various High Courts were pending with the Supreme Court collegium and that 197 recommendations are yet to be sent. The court further stated that “at least the names on which the Supreme Court collegium, the High Courts and the governments had agreed upon should be appointed within six months.”
The bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph were dealing with a plea filed by a company, PLR Projects Pvt Ltd, trailing a boycott by lawyers in Orissa, about the raising demand to create a Bench of High Court in the Western and Southern parts of Orissa. Before the boycott was officially suspended, the Orissa High Court initiated contempt proceedings against various Bar Associations, after which the Supreme Court took critical note of the ‘contumacious’ conduct of the striking lawyers.
The Supreme Court emphasized the State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India to certify as to the measures taken for the smooth functioning of all the courts. It stated that the lawyers cannot bring the working of courts in Orissa to a standstill, citing the demand for the creation of more High Court Benches.
“Even if that is a grievance, it cannot bring the working of the district courts to a standstill. We fail to appreciate how there is a proper atmosphere to create a Bench when even work at the district level is not taking place. The creation of a bench of the High Court is a question to be examined by the High Court but in this atmosphere, there can be no question of the same or rather should not be examined till the advocates in these districts get back to normal work,” the bench declared.
Further, the order states “If recommendations of the High Court collegium meet with the approval of the Supreme Court collegium and the government, at least their appointments must take place within six months. This is not to say that in other cases the process should not be completed within six months.”