The Supreme Court on Friday told the Centre a 10-day ultimatum to clear the collegium’s recommendation for the elevation of five High Court judges to the top court, Bar and Bench reported.

“Don’t make us take a stand which will be very uncomfortable,” the judges said in an oral observation, according to PTI. The remarks come amidst a tussle between the Centre and the judiciary on judicial appointments in the country.

On December 14, the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the promotion of five judges. Out of them, three are chief justices of High Courts – Justice Pankaj Mithal (Rajasthan), Justice Sanjay Karol (Patna) and Justice PV Sanjay Kumar (Manipur). The six-member collegium had also recommended elevating Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah of the Patna High Court and Justice Manoj Misra of the Allahabad High Court.

On Friday, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka questioned Attorney General N Venkataramani on the status of the transfers. In response, Venkataramani said that the government would soon clear the recommendations.

“It has been happening! But when will this happen?” Justice Kaul then pointed out, according to Bar and Bench. “Things have not been happening for years together.”

The judges said they hoped that the attorney general would give them some “good news” by next Friday, to which Venkatramani asked for a few more days.

“Okay, ten days...I am taking your word for the five judges,” Justice Kaul replied.

The top court has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges and there are currently seven vacancies.

On Wednesday, the collegium also recommended the names of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar to the Supreme Court.

In the past few months, the Collegium has been releasing more information in public about its rationale for recommending judges, names pending with the government and inputs of intelligence agencies on judicial appointments.

On January 24, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju said that the releasing of certain portions of sensitive reports of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing was a “matter of grave concern”.

Traditionally, discussions that took place during collegium meetings were not recorded or released in any form, and only the names of the recommended candidates were released in the public domain.