Saurabh Kirpal is a Delhi High Court lawyer who was unanimously voted for elevation by a Delhi High Court collegium almost four years ago. The Delhi High Court collegium’s recommendation was referred to a three-member Supreme Court collegium comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana and Justice RF Nariman.
The Supreme Court collegium, as it mostly does, did not routinely approve the elevation. However, quite recently, CJI wrote to the Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, seeking the reason behind the deferment and centre’s stand so that a final decision can be taken.
The government previously flagged his elevation based on an Intelligence Bureau report which was also discussed by former CJI Gogoi and Justices Bobde and Ramana furthering the judgeship in abeyance.
The Intelligence Bureau’s advice to the centre on flagging Kirpal’s elevation is not on his sexual orientation but the foreign nationality of his partner which might poses a security risk. However, Kirpal is of the opinion that his sexuality is coming in between his professional growth.
Sources also believe that Kirpal being one of the lawyers fighting for decriminalisation of homosexuality and marriage equality might also contribute towards the unwillingness and postponement of the elevation.