New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium is learnt to have recommended for elevation four judges as chief justices of various high courts.
The four high courts of Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gauhati for which new chief justices have been recommended are currently being looked after by acting chief justices.
While the chief justices of Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gauhati had retired last year, the chief justice of Meghalaya High Court had retired on January 16.
There is also speculation that Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini has been recommended for a transfer to the Madras High Court in the same capacity, while the present incumbent in Chennai Justice S K Kaul has been recommended to be the next Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court (Uttar Pradesh).
The present incumbent at Allahabad High Court, Justice Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud has been recommended by the collegium to head the Delhi High Court.
While senior judges are set to become chief justices of Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Gauhati high courts, the acting chief justice of the Karnataka High Court Justice S K Mukherjee has been recommended to head that high court as Chief Justice. Sources said Justice Satish Kumar Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court is tipped to become the next Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, Justice Ajit Singh, a judge of the Rajathan High Court is expected to head the Gauhati High Court. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, a senior judge at the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has been recommended to head the Meghalaya High Court. There is also speculation that Justice D H Waghela, Chief Justice of the Orissa high Court may move to the Bombay High Court.
The Bombay High Court is at present headed by an acting Chief Justice. Justice Vineet Saran, a judge of the Karnataka High Court, may head the Orissa High Court. After the return of the collegium system, which was in place for the past over 20 years, the Supreme Court collegium had restricted itself to recommending extensions for additional judges who are appointed for two years to ensure that the high courts do not face shortage of judges. After the NJAC Act was scrapped by the apex court, it decided to review the functioning of the collegium system amid complaints that it was opaque.
The collegium had indicated that no new fresh appointments will be recommended till the new memorandum of procedure, a document to guide appointment of judges, is finalised. Government is finalising the MoP which will be approved by the collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India.
But these recommendations were made as no new person will be appointed to the Bench and serving judges will be elevated as chief justices.