The Supreme Court Collegium bench recommended the appointment of Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan as an additional judge of Bombay High Court after Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya administered the oath of office upon him.
The Centre has notified the appointment of him as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court.
The Supreme Court Collegium bench recommended his name for appointment as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on February 16, 2022. Thus, the Collegium of Bombay High Court recommended the name of Advocate Sundaresan for elevation on October 04, 2021.
However, the Government seek reconsideration of the said recommendation on November 25, 2022.
The objection raised by the Centre was that the Advocate had aired his views on social media on several matters which were presently sub-judice.
The Supreme Court Collegium stated while reiterating the name of Advocate Sundaresan’s for elevation as an additional judge that the manner in which the candidate has expressed the views of him does not justify the inference that he is a ‘highly biased opinionated person’ or that he has been ‘selectively critical on the social media on the important policies, initiatives and directions of the Government as it is indicated in the objections of Department of Justice, nor is there any material to indicate that the expressions used by the candidate are suggestive of his links with any political party with strong ideological leanings.
The Supreme Court Collegium bench comprising of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph held that all the citizens have the right to free speech and expression as stated under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Thus, the expression of views by a candidate does not disentitle him to hold a constitutional office so long as the person proposed for judgeship is a person of competence, merit, and integrity.
The Supreme Court Collegium bench noted that Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan was a member of the recent Expert Committee which is constituted by the Supreme Court to review India’s regulatory mechanism in the light of the Adani-Hindenburg issue.