The collegium, in a rare precedent, has withdrawn its recommendation to confirm the permanent status of a Bombay High Court judge Pushpa Ganediwala.
The apex court collegium, in a rare precedent, has withdrawn its recommendation to confirm the permanent status of a Bombay High Court judge Pushpa Ganediwala after she delivered two controversial orders on sexual assaults in the past few days. According to sources in the Supreme Court, the decision to not grant permanent status has been based on the possible need for “more exposure” in such cases.
A source in the Supreme Court told NDTV: “There is nothing personal against her. She needs exposure and may not have dealt with these types of cases when she was a lawyer…She needs exposure and training.”
The recommendations by the collegium to the centre is part of the procedure for appointing permanent judges or making judges permanent. However, in some cases, the recommendations are returned to the Collegium with queries.
Justice Pushpa Ganediwala’s name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium on January 20 for confirmation as a Permanent Judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court. However, two recent orders passed by Justice Ganediwala on sexual assault have caused huge outrage and possibly jeopardised her chances.
Holding the hands of a minor girl and opening the zip of his pants does not fall under the purview of ‘sexual assault’ or ‘aggravated sexual assault’ of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court ruled this week.
Another judgment passed by Justice Ganediwala this month had faced a severe backlash, in which she had acquitted a 39-year-old man for groping a minor girl, noting that there was no “skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent”.
On Wednesday, the apex court stayed the operation of this order after Attorney General KK Venugopal mentioned the matter submitting that it was a very disturbing conclusion by the Bombay High Court.