Manipur high court to get first tribal woman judge – Hindustan Times

Subscribe Now! Get features like
The Union government on Friday notified the appointment of three judges in the high courts of Madras, and Manipur, including a judicial officer who would become the first woman from a scheduled tribe to become a judge in the Manipur high court. The other two names cleared by the Centre are from Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities, potentially boosting the social diversity and representation of marginalised sections in the higher judiciary.
HT had on October 11 first reported that the Collegium’s recommendations mentioned above have been cleared by the government and that their notifications were expected soon. Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal announced the appointment of the three new judges on platform X (formerly Twitter).
The notification for the appointment of Golmei Gaiphulshillu Kabui, a judicial officer, for appointment as judges of the Manipur high court was pending since January 10.
Two advocates, N Senthilkumar and G Arul Murugan, were appointed as judges in the Madras high court. The Supreme Court collegium, comprising Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sanjiv Khanna, had recommended their names in July.
In its resolution, the collegium had noted that Senthilkumar has a standing of over 28 years at the Bar and had the experience of appearing before the Madras high court as well as the sessions court, and had been practising in constitutional, criminal, service and civil cases. “The candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste. His appointment as a judge of the high court will enhance the representation on the Bench to marginalised communities,” the resolution stated.
About Murugan, the collegium pointed out that he has a standing of 24 years at the Bar and specialised in civil, criminal and writ cases. “The candidate belongs to the OBC category. His appointment as a judge will facilitate greater representation to the OBCs in appointment to the higher judiciary,” it added.
This forms part of a batch of nine recommendations made by the Supreme Court collegium earlier this year but were yet to be processed by the Centre. The oldest recommendation was pending since January; the people quoted in the first instance said.
According to data presented by the government in Lok Sabha in March, out of 575 high court judges appointed since 2018, 67 belong to the OBC category, 17 to the SC category, 9 to the ST category and 18 to minority communities.
The development closely follows key Supreme Court hearings before a bench led by justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that has been monitoring the steps taken by the Centre in processing the collegium’s proposals for appointing and transferring judges in constitutional courts.
On September 26, the top court said that it would periodically take stock of the steps taken by the Centre in processing the collegium’s recommendations, expressing its anguish at delays.
That day, it flagged nine names recommended for appointment as judges in various high courts that were pending with the government for several months without any indication if they would be appointed of if the government had any objection to the proposals.
The court is seized of a contempt plea filed by Advocate Association, Bengaluru, through advocate Amit Pai, highlighting several instances of pending appointments and unexplained holdover by the government.
On October 9, the justice Kaul-led bench cautioned the government that the collegium’s recommendations cannot remain in limbo. Instead of sitting on names indefinitely, the court said, the government must either notify the appointments or send the names back citing specific objections.

Utkarsh Anand is Legal Editor at the Hindustan Times. He writes on law, judiciary and governance.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Join Whatsapp Group!
Scan the code