Monday, 22 October, 2018

Supreme Court collegium defers decision on Justice KM Joseph's elevation

SC  ST rights review case to come up on Thursday in Supreme Court Breaking: Collegium defers decision on elevation of Justice KM Joseph to Supreme Court
Marty Perkins | 03 May, 2018, 15:55

In the meeting which concluded a few minutes back, the Collegium which also comprises Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph made a decision to defer the same.

It considered the names of judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Courts but "deferred" the decision, without giving next date of the meeting.

The Centre, through a letter sent to the chief justice by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, said many High Courts did not have any representation in the Supreme Court. Firstly, a proper (BJP-led) government with almost three-fourth majority has been elected in Uttarakhand.

The government decision to send back Justice Joseph's recommendation for reconsideration was met with sharp criticism by the former Chief Justices of the top court and others.

Taking the example of Justice Khehar, who had set aside the National Judicial Commission initiative, Prasad said that he too became Chief Justice of India during BJP-led NDA government.

The government on 26 April declined to accept the recommendation of the collegium and asked it to reconsider his name.




The SC website used a single word, "Deferred", to describe the outcome of the much-awaited meeting of the collegium: the first since the Centre last month segregated its recommendations for the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra to the apex court and for elevation of the Uttarakhand Chief Justice. Among those were Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Kurian Joseph.

Indu Malhotra was sworn in last week.

The letter pointed out that justice Joseph is 42nd in seniority among the high court judges and many HCs such as Gujarat, Calcutta and Jammu and Kashmir are not represented in the apex court.

His seniority was also questioned by the Centre which said "he stands at Sl". Sources said the meeting did not discuss the issue of Justice K M Joseph at all, focusing instead on the proposals for appointment of judges, the recommendations for whom have been pending with the government, and also to hold dialogue with the executive for expediting the process.

Justice Joseph was in news for passing the verdict quashing the Narendra Modi Government's decision to impose President's rule in the hill State of Uttarakhand in 2016.

This is because clubbing these two in a single resolution could given the Centre the option of perpetually sitting on Joseph's appointment while asking the President to issue warrants to others who are recommended by the collegium. In fact, a senior advocate had even filed a petition seeking stay on the oath of Justice Malhotra till Justice Joseph's name was reiterated.

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