Central Government notifies Appointment of Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan as Additional Judge of Bombay High Court
The Centre had earlier objected citing that he aired his views on social media on issues being considered before the Courts
The Central government has notified the appointment of advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court.
While the Bombay High Court Collegium had recommended his name on 04 October 2021, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended it on 16 February 2022.
On 25 November 2022, the Government sought reconsideration of Sundaresan’s name objecting that he had aired his views on social media on several issues that were the subject matter of consideration before the Courts.
However, in January 2023, the Collegium reiterated his name. It clarified, "The manner in which the candidate has expressed his views 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 important policies, initiatives, and directions of the government’ (as indicated in the objections of the Department of Justice. There is no material to indicate that the expressions used by the candidate are suggestive of his links with any political party with strong ideological leanings."
Earlier, the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and Justice KM Joseph had also held, “All citizens have the Right to Free Speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Expression of views by a candidate does not disentitle him to hold a constitutional office so long as the person proposed for a judgeship is a person of competence, merit, and integrity.”
Importantly, Advocate Sundaresan was a member of the recent Expert Committee constituted by the Supreme Court to review India's regulatory mechanism in light of the Adani-Hindenburg issue.