New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium on Thursday made public its resolution recommending the name of Uttarakhand high court chief justice KM Joseph for appointment as an apex court judge, saying he is “more deserving and suitable in all respects” than other chief justices and judges of the high courts.
Along with Justice Joseph, the collegium has also recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra, who would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the top court, instead of being elevated from a high court.
Malhotra would be the seventh women judge in the apex court since Independence as only six women judges have made it to the Supreme Court as judges.
Justice Joseph had hogged the limelight when a high court division bench, headed by him, quashed in 2016 the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand.
The reports quoting sources about elevation of Justice Joseph and Malhotra had appeared on 11 January.
According to the resolution, the collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had met on 10 January and discussed on the vacancy of judges in the apex court.
The apex court has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges, including the CJI, but it is at present functioning with 25 judges.
Besides the CJI, the collegium comprises four seniormost judges of the apex court — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
The resolution, which was uploaded on the Supreme Court website on Thursday, said that the collegium had met to consider filling up of vacancies in the top court and after “extensive discussion and deliberations, unanimously” resolved to fill up two vacancies at present.
It said that the collegium discussed the names of chief justices and senior puisne high court judges eligible for appointment as judges of the apex court.
“The collegium considers that at present Justice KM Joseph, who hails from Kerala High Court and is currently functioning as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India,” it said.
It further said that the collegium had also considered the names of eminent members of the bar.
“In our considered opinion, at present, Indu Malhotra, Senior Advocate, is eminently suitable for being appointed as a Judge in the Supreme Court,” it said.
“We, therefore, recommend that Justice KM Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court and Indu Malhotra, senior advocate, be appointed as Judges in the Supreme Court of India,” the resolution said.
Updated Date: Feb 01, 2018 22:45 PM