SC collegium defers for 3rd time decision to reiterate recommendation for Justice KM Joseph's elevation to apex court

The Supreme Court collegium on Wednesday once again deferred its decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the top court, as it could not decide on names of other judges for elevation to the apex court.

IANS May 17, 2018 07:06:44 IST
SC collegium defers for 3rd time decision to reiterate recommendation for Justice KM Joseph's elevation to apex court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium, on Wednesday, once again deferred its decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the top court, as it could not decide on names of other judges for elevation to the apex court.

Sources said the collegium met to deliberate on several issues, including reconsidering the name of Justice Joseph for elevation to the apex court after it was returned by the Central government.

But, as no decision could be taken on elevation of other judges to the apex court, the two-hour collegium meeting also deferred the decision for reiteration of elevation of Justice Joseph to the Supreme Court, said court sources.

SC collegium defers for 3rd time decision to reiterate recommendation for Justice KM Josephs elevation to apex court

File image of Justice KM Joseph. News18

The collegium comprises Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four other senior-most judges of the apex court — Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.

Besides reiterating the elevation of Justice Joseph, the collegium has earlier recommended the elevation to the top court of Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court Chief Justice and the Chief Justice of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The collegium during its last meeting on 11 May had taken an in-principle decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the apex court.

The apex court collegium reiterated its 10 January recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the apex court after the Centre had on 26 April returned it for reconsideration.

Besides Justice Joseph, the collegium had on 10 January also recommended the appointment of Senior Counsel (now a Judge) Indu Malhotra to the Supreme Court. While returning the name of Justice Joseph, the government cleared Justice Malhotra's appointment.

Recommending Justice Joseph for elevation to top court, the collegium had on January 10 said: "The collegium considers that at present Justice KM Joseph is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne judges of the high courts for being appointed as judges of the Supreme Court."

But, the government, while sending back Justice Joseph's recommendation for reconsideration, had invoked the principle of seniority, saying that Justice Joseph stood at number 42 of the seniority of the high court judges and there were 11 Chief Justices of various high courts senior to him — a clear suggestion that any elevation of Justice Joseph to top court would be at their expense.

It had also said that the Kerala High Court being comparatively a smaller court, with a sanctioned strength of 42 judges, was a parent high court for Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph, and the Chief Justices of three high courts — Justice KM Joseph himself (Uttarakhand), Justice TB Radhakrishnan (Chhattisgarh) and Justice Antony Dominic (Kerala).

The government had also flagged the issue of non-representation of SC/ST judges in the apex court.

However, the general perception is that Justice Joseph had earned the displeasure of the Central government after a bench headed by him had ruled against the imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand.

It is not first time that the government has sought to block a collegium decision on Justice Joseph. Earlier, the government did not materialise the collegium decision to transfer Justice Joseph as Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court. The collegium's decision taken in 2016 remains unimplemented to date.

Updated Date:

also read

Can't pay Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to COVID-19 victims due to financial constraints, Centre tells SC
India

Can't pay Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to COVID-19 victims due to financial constraints, Centre tells SC

On 11 June, the Centre had told the top court that issues raised in pleas, seeking directions for ex-gratia compensation to families of COVID-19, are genuine and are under consideration

COVID-19 deaths to be counted as such despite comorbidities, but there are exceptions: All you need to know
India

COVID-19 deaths to be counted as such despite comorbidities, but there are exceptions: All you need to know

In its affidavit before SC on Sunday, the govt said, situations of an alternative cause of death where COVID-19 is an 'incidental finding' will not be issued a COVID-19 death certificate

CBSE to conduct optional exam between 15 August to 15 Sept; all you need to know
India

CBSE to conduct optional exam between 15 August to 15 Sept; all you need to know

The CBSE said optional exam will be conducted fro main subjects only and marks obtained in this exam will be treated as final.