The Union government has reportedly conveyed its objection to the Supreme Court collegium regarding the recommended elevation of senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal as a judge of the Delhi High Court.
The Centre, while responding to a letter by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, has objected to Kirpal’s elevation on the ground that his male partner is a foreigner, as reported by The Print.
Notably, Kirpal, who is gay, was recommended for elevation in 2017 by the Delhi High Court collegium then led by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal. His name was also endorsed by the Supreme Court collegium, but the Centre objected to his elevation.
Following a collegium meeting on March 2 that again discussed Kirpal’s name, the CJI wrote a letter to the Union government asking it to clarify its reservations over Kirpal’s name. Subsequently, the government has clarified that Kirpal’s partner is a European employed with the Swiss embassy and was previously working with a Swiss non-profit organisation.
The Centre in its earlier communication had provided the photograph of the senior advocate and his foreign partner after scanning through his Facebook account. It had been said that Kirpal’s partner could pose a security risk.
Saurabh Kirpal’s name was discussed in collegium’s March 2 meeting
The senior advocate’s name was discussed during the March 2 meeting between CJI Bobde and the two other collegium members, Justices NV Ramana and RF Nariman, but the collegium deferred its decision until it received inputs from the government. It was the fourth time his name was deferred since he was recommended for elevation by the Delhi High Court.
In September last year, Kirpal had told The Print that he believes that his sexual orientation is probably the reason because of which the Supreme Court collegium could not take a call on his elevation.
Collegium will have to decide
As per the Memorandum of Procedure for the appointment of judges, if the collegium does not accept the objections raised by the Centre and again recommends the elevation of Kirpal, the Union government will have no option but to notify his name. At the most, it can delay his appointment, but cannot turn it down.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here