The Ministry of Law and Justice on Monday notified the appointment P. Krishna Bhat as an additional judge of the Karnataka High Court, almost four years after his name was first recommended by the Supreme Court collegium.
A Law Ministry notification said Mr. Bhat has been appointed for two years. Additional judges are usually appointed two years before being elevated as a permanent judge in the High Court. The Supreme Court collegium had first recommended Mr. Bhat, then a District and Session’s Court judge, in 2016. However, the government did not act on the recommendation as a woman law officer gave a written complaint against him to the then Chief Justice of India (CJI), T.S. Thakur.
Justice Thakur got an inquiry done by the then-Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, who found the complaint to be ‘without any basis.’ The Law Ministry, however, again wrote back to the then CJI, Dipak Misra, for a ‘fair and proper inquiry’ after the woman law officer alleged she was being summoned to Mr Bhat’s residence at ‘odd hours’ on the pretext of official work.
In October 2019, the Collegium reiterated its recommendation and the government accepted it.