Over a fortnight after the medical colleges scam exposed deep fissures in the higher judiciary, the Supreme Court collegium is set to start meeting again to clear names for appointment to various high courts.Sources told DNA that the first meeting of the collegium is scheduled to be held on Monday where the pending cases for appointments to various high courts are likely to be considered. Currently, there are more than 390 vacancies for judges in different high courts.It is learnt that the Supreme Court has been sitting on about 120 recommendations – 58 fresh cases and 60-odd cases for making Additional Judges in various high courts permanent – and there could finally be some movement on these names.There are also indications that the larger, five-Judge collegium – CJI, Justice Chelameswar, Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph will meet in mid-December to clear names of HC Judges for appointment as Chief Justices of various high courts.Currently, eight high courts are without full-time chief justices – the number will go up to 9 when Bombay High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur retires on December 4.There are six existing vacancies in the Supreme Court also.Sources told DNA that Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has already circulated the proposals that he intends to place before the three-member collegium – CJI himself and the two senior-most Judges after him, who are Justices Jasti Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi, on Monday.The Supreme Court Collegium last met on November 1 and recommended some names for appointment as Judges of the Jharkhand High Court and Tripura High Court.It is learnt that recommendations for appointment of new judges from several high courts are awaiting the nod of the Supreme Court collegium. These include Madras High Court, Karnataka High Court, Gujarat High Court, Calcutta High Court, Bombay High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court and Gauhati High Court.Sources said when it decides to recommend names of additional judges for appointment as permanent judges, the collegium will also take into consideration their performance as additional judges.It may be recalled that, on October 23, the SC collegium had restored the earlier system of evaluating the performance of Additional Judges of the high courts through a detailed scrutiny of their judgments.The collegium had also decided that judgments of Additional Judges would be evaluated by a committee of two Judges of the Supreme Court to be nominated by the CJI.
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DNA EXCLUSIVE: SC collegium meets today to select HC judges