The Supreme Court’s collegium has approved the proposal for the elevation of lawyer Saurabh Kirpal as a judge in the Delhi High Court, according to an official statement released on Monday. The decision was taken at a meeting on November 11.

The recommendation came three years after it was first proposed in October 2017. The proposal to elevate Kirpal as a judge of the Delhi High Court was deferred on three occasions in September 2018, January 2019 and April 2019, according to Live Law.

In March, the then Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had written to then Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad seeking a clarification on the intelligence inputs that the Supreme Court collegium had received on Kirpal.

Bobde’s letter to the Centre came amid reports that Kirpal’s elevation was deferred due to his sexual orientation. The Intelligence Bureau had reportedly advised the Centre not to elevate because his partner is a citizen of another country. The agency had flagged this as a security risk.

In an interview with The Week in September 2020, Kirpal had said that his sexual orientation could be the reason for not being appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court.

“ defer something not only for three years but on three separate occasions causes one to wonder what the reason may be,” he had said. “Why is it a problem for me other than the fact that I am a gay man who cannot get married to his partner?”

Kirpal was elevated to the rank of a “senior advocate” in March as he received votes from all 31 judges of the Delhi High Court, reported Bar and Bench.