Sworn-in 2 years after nod from collegium, Kerala High Court judge says wait ‘painful’

Shaju Philip
Sworn-in 2 yrs after nod from collegium, Kerala High Court judge says wait ‘painful’

After being sworn-in as an additional judge of the Kerala High Court, Justice PV Kunhikrishnan said, “My name was recommended for the post of High Court judge by the collegium of the Kerala high court on March 7, 2018." (File)

After being sworn-in on Thursday as an additional judge of the Kerala High Court, nearly two years after the collegium of the high court recommended his name for the post to the Supreme Court, Justice P V Kunhikrishnan commented on the delay saying “this waiting period is really painful.”

Speaking after the ceremony, he said, “It is true that I have waited above two years to clear my name. I believe the Constitutional authorities of our country, while making appointments to Constitutional posts, may take time. But, this waiting period is really painful,’’ he said.

The son of Malayalam film actor Unnikrishnan Namboothiri, Justice Kunhikrishnan said, “My name was recommended for the post of High Court judge by the collegium of the Kerala high court on March 7, 2018. The Supreme Court collegium recommended my name on October 9, 2018. Thereafter, the SC collegium reiterated my name on February 12, 2019. Now, one year has passed since the reiterating and two years have passed since my original recommendation by the HC collegium.”

“I have a small piece of advice to my lawyer friends here. If you come across a news that the name of a person is recommended... please avoid questions such as: ‘When will your appointment order come?’; ‘Where is your file now?’; ‘Are you appearing in courts now?”... Always encourage them to appear in cases and to continue their vigour of advocacy. Never give publicity — especially to lower court lawyers saying the candidate stopped practising as a lawyer because he/she is going to become a judge,” Justice Kunhikrishnan said.

Justice Kunhikrishnan also tried to drive home the point that the political leanings of a person should not be a factor preventing his elevation as a judge.

To substantiate his point, he quoted from the books ‘Story of a Chief Justice’ by Justice U L Bhat, ‘Roses in December’ by late jurist M C Chagla, and a 1983 Supreme Court verdict which dismissed a special leave petition of the Madhya Pradesh government challenging the appointment of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker as a government school teacher.