‘They won’t impinge on candidate’s integrity’ | India News

CHENNAI: Two WhatsApp forwards nearly cost a criminal lawyer the post of high court judge.
Not so now, as the Supreme Court collegium has reiterated the candidature of John Sathyan, saying the forwards would ‘not impinge on the suitability, character or integrity’ of the candidate. In a statement on the collegium proceedings dated January 17, the members – Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph – said: “The collegium is of the considered opinion that Shri R. John Sathyan is fit and suitable for being appointed as a judge of the Madras high court.”
Sathyan’s name was originally recommended on February 16, 2022. But the Union government did not clear the recommendation in the wake of an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report, which said: “As per open sources, two posts made by him — i.e. sharing of an article published in ‘The Quint’, which was critical of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and another post regarding committing of suicide by medical aspirant Anitha, who ended her life in 2017 since she was unable to clear NEET, portraying it as a killing by ‘political betrayal’ and a tag stating ‘shame of you India’ — came to notice.”
Overruling these findings and reiterating their recommendations to elevate John Sathyan, the collegium said: “All the consultee-judges had a favourable opinion about suitability of Shri Sathyan. The IB has reported that he enjoys a good personal and professional image and that nothing adverse has come to notice against his integrity. Shri Sathyan belongs to the Christian community. The IB report notes that he does not have any overt political leanings.”
The collegium further recommended John Sathyan be given precedence in the matter of appointment as judge over certain names it separately recommended on Tuesday for appointment as judges of the Madras HC.

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