Names of 44 judges are likely to be cleared for appointment to the higher judiciary in the next three days, the Union government told the Supreme Court on Friday, according to PTI.

Attorney General R Venkataramani told a bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka that the government will adhere to the timeline for judicial appointments set by the Supreme Court. In April 2021, the court had said that the government should appoint judges in three to four weeks if the collegium reiterates its recommendations unanimously.

“Attorney general submits that he has instructions that the government will adhere to the timelines as provided in the judgement,” the court noted on Friday. “It is towards that objective that he submits that out of the 104 recommendations made by the collegium of high courts pending with the government, 44 are likely to be processed and sent to the Supreme Court by the weekend.”

Venkataramani said that he was personally looking into the appointment process, Live Law reported.

The court will hear the matter again on February 3.

Last month, the collegium, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, had recommended elevating five judges to the Supreme Court.

These were Pankaj Mithal, the chief justice of the Rajasthan High Court, Sanjay Karol, the chief justice of the Patna High Court, PV Sanjay Kumar, the chief justice of the Manipur High Court, Ahsanuddin Amanullah, a judge at the Patna High Court and Manoj Misra, a judge at the Allahabad High Court.

The Union government and the judiciary are currently locked in a tussle on the process of making judicial appointments in the country. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has repeatedly criticised the existing collegium system of appointments.

On November 26, he told the news channel Times Now that the collegium system was not in consonance with the Constitution.

On December 8, the Supreme Court had told the Centre that the collegium system of appointing judges to the higher judiciary is the law of the land and must be adhered to.