New Delhi: India’s Supreme Court has appointed former Indian minister of justice to a high-profile post, as a judicial review panel’s findings on the appointment of judges to the country’s top court continue to be contested by the former government.
The panel, headed by retired Supreme Court chief justice J. Chelameswar, released its final report on Friday on the nomination of P.V. Chidambaram to a seat on the apex court on a recommendation of the bench, which was headed by Justice Chelameswara Reddy.
Justice Chelameshwara Reddys final report into the nomination, published in December 2016, found that Mr. Chudambaram was not qualified to be a judge on the high court.
The Supreme Court’s panel said Mr. Justice Chidabaram, who had served as minister of information, education, information technology and communications from 2002 to 2016, was unsuitable for the role as the judgeship was held by the government.
In a separate report published on Friday, the same panel also concluded that Mr Chidibaram was unsuited to the position of chief justice.
The report also said the high courts had failed to appoint qualified judges to all courts, including those that were the sole beneficiaries of the Supreme Court Act, as it was in favour of the government over the courts.
Mr Chidamaram was nominated to the Supreme Courts in 2007.
The committee had in January last year recommended the appointment to Mr Chudamaram of a bench judge.
He was later nominated to a court in Kerala, but he was later moved to the high-court in Delhi.
The committee, headed as part of the review by Justice Jagdish Chatterjee, had in February 2017 asked the government to appoint a new judge to the bench to replace the outgoing judge, and it was only last week that it recommended that Mr Justice Chathindaran be appointed.
In the panel’s report, Mr Chidiaparam was mentioned as a candidate for a seat in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and the judges committee had also mentioned him as a contender for a high court seat.
In his final report, the panel said that it was not possible for the Supreme Government to replace judges appointed by the previous government.
The judges committee report did not indicate any action taken against Mr Chids lawyer.