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Government returns file of gay judge, 19 others to SC collegium | India News

NEW DELHI: Amid the tussle between the executive and judiciary over judicial appointments, the law ministry last week returned at least 20 recommendations made by the Supreme Court collegium for appointment as judges of various high courts.
Sources said that among the files returned to the apex court collegium, as many as nine recommendations are believed to be those reiterated by the collegium earlier. There was, however, no official word on the files returned.

As per the established procedure, the government is bound to appoint a judge if the SC collegium, headed by the CJI, reiterates any recommendation. However, in several cases in the past, the government has returned files with objections despite reiteration, or has kept them pending.
Sources said one of the files sent for reconsideration is that of advocate Saurabh Kirpal, son of former CJI B N Kirpal, who was first recommended to be appointed a judge of the Delhi high court in 2017 by the HC collegium. His name was thrice deferred by the apex court collegium before it agreed to recommend his name to the government in November last year.
Kirpal has openly declared his gay status and said earlier that his sexual orientation could be the reason for the government’s objection. Though neither the government nor the SC collegium has made public the reasons, it is speculated that Kirpal’s European partner, who is working for an embassy, could be one the reasons for objections on security grounds.

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