Madras HC dismisses PIL against judge selection

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Chennai: The Madras High Court today dismissed a PIL against the recent appointment of Justice Subramonium Prasad as an additional judge, saying it cannot sit in an appeal over the decision of collegiums of the High Court or the Supreme Court.

In his PIL, advocate M Radhakrishnan contended that Justice Prasad has not practiced as an advocate either in the Madras High court or its subordinate courts for a minimum of 10 years as required.

When the petition came up, the first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice P T Asha referred to various judgements of the Supreme Court, and said the question of suitability of a person being elevated as a judge should be excluded from the scope of judicial review.

In its order, the bench also said, “.. there is a difference between eligibility and suitability. It is not that as if Justice Prasad is not eligible.”

Rejecting his contentions, the bench said, “This court cannot sit in an appeal over decision of the collegiums of the high courts or the Supreme Court. Hence the petition is dismissed.”

Justice Subramonium Prasad was elevated as the additional judge of the court on June 4, along with six others.

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