SC opposes Home Secy’s wife as J&K HC judge: 26.04.14

NEW DELHI, Apr 26(Agencies): A sitting Supreme Court judge has written to the outgoing Chief Justice of India objecting to the proposed appointment of top bureaucrat and union Home Secretary Anil Goswami’s advocate wife as a judge in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.

A report published in a Delhi-based newspaper on Saturday said that Justice T S Thakur, who is in line to be the country’s top judge and could occupy the post after CJI-designate Justice R M Lodha and his successor Justice H L Dattu demit office in 2015, said in a letter to the Chief Justice P Sathasivam last month that he was not convinced about Neeru Goswami’s professional capabilities, sources familiar with the matter have told.

Justice Thakur cited Goswami’s lack of competence, private practice and experience in handling civil and criminal matters to underline what he said was her unsuitability for the judge’s position, they said.

Meanwhile, two sitting SC judges have told agencies about what they said were improper efforts to influence the appointment, including calls made by candidate’s relatives to SC judges.

“Anil Goswami and his father-in-law had called on two sitting Supreme Court judges and mentioned his wife’ appointment,” one of them told agencies , adding that a cabinet minister had also telephoned another Supreme Court judge to favorably consider Goswami’s appointment.

Thakur declined to comment and a questionnaire emailed to Chief Justice P Sathasivam’s office requesting confirmation about the letter went unanswered.

questionnaire to the home secretary’s office for his comments by this agencies, but a home ministry spokesperson said since it was a personal matter, Goswami “would not like to comment on it”.

Telephone calls to Goswami’s mobile and to his wife’s number in Jammu went unanswered. Goswami, who has been home secretary since July 2013, was a personal pick of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who had a fractious relationship with his predecessor and now BJP member and Lok Sabha candidate R K Singh.

Thakur was earlier a judge in the J&K High Court and it is common practice to seek the views of Judges of the SC in judicial appointments to HCs where they may have worked in the past.

As a convention, after recommendations to appoint judges is received from high court, the chief justice consults judges who represent the state or have done a stint in High court concerned. Thakur is from J&K and had practiced in the high court there and was in 1994 appointed as an additional judge in the court.

…………News Updated at : Sunday, April 27, 2014


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