"All citizens have the right to free speech and expression under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution. Expression of views by a candidate does not disentitle him to hold a constitutional office so long as the person proposed for judgeship is a person of competence, merit and integrity."
The Supreme Court collegium said this on Wednesday, 18 January, in its proposal for the reconsideration of Advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan as a Judge of the Bombay High Court.
The collegium, comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, also said that "the views on social media attributed to the candidate, do not furnish any foundation to infer that he is biased."
Who Is Somasekhar Sundaresan?
Sundaresan is an advocate specialising in commercial law. A business journalist-turned-lawyer, he also frequently writes for various digital and print platforms on commercial law, business, as well as matters of political and constitutional consequence.
Sundaresan has served as a permanent invitee of the Working Group on Foreign Investment, set up by the Ministry of Finance, and a member of the Takeover Regulations Advisory Committee, constituted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
He was also formerly a partner and head of capital market practice at J Sagar Associates. As per the website of Oxfam India, Sundaresan is a board member there.
He graduated in 1996 from Government Law College, Mumbai.