Supreme Court agreed to reiterate Justice Joseph's name for elevation to SC

Supreme Court agreed to reiterate Justice Joseph's name for elevation to SC

DESPITE objections from the Centre, the Supreme Court Collegium on Friday stood by its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice Justice K M Joseph as judge of the apex court.

The collegium had on May 2 also, held a 45-minute meeting, to reconsider the recommendation for the appointment of Justice Joseph as a SC judge, but was deferred as it remained inconclusive.

The Collegium meeting is further scheduled for May 16 to discuss the matter.

Justice Joseph is now deputed as the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court.

All members of the Collegium - Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, participated in the deliberations.

The elevation of Justice Joseph, who is presently the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, had run into rough weather after the Centre wrote to the Collegium on April 26 and April 30 to reconsider his name.

The Centre, while returning the file of Justice Joseph to the collegium, had also mentioned that judges from various high courts have not found place in the apex court. The Government followed the principle of seniority laid down by the past Supreme Court decisions on judicial appointments and found Justice Joseph to be ranked 42 on the all-India judges' seniority list.

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Justice Joseph's name was recommended by the collegium in January along with senior advocate of the top court and now top court judge Justice Indu Malhotra.

According to current norms, a unanimous reiteration must be agreed to by the Centre and the Judge must be sworn in.

The three prevailed over Justices Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph and asserted that the serious issue of nonrepresentation of several HCs in the SC should be considered as it was incongruous with the two Constitution bench judgments in 1993 and 1998 which created the collegium system. Until then, Justice Joseph's name will not be sent back to the Centre.

Reacting to the Centre's response, CJI Misra had said the government is "within its rights" to send back a name for reconsideration.

The Supreme Court Collegium on Friday chose to return the name of Justice KM Joseph to the Centre for appointment as judge of the apex court. "To consider names of High Court Judges for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court".

It is also learnt that Justice Chelameswar, who retires on June 22, has responded to all the points raised in the communication to the CJI by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressing reservations on the elevation of Justice Joseph.

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