undergroundnewsroom.com May 27, 2018

Supreme Court collegium reiterates Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation

14 May 2018, 12:12 | Damon Campbell

Collegium reiterates recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph to Supreme Court

Collegium likely to repeat recommendation for Justice KM Joseph to SC…

The judges are of the opinion that Justice Joseph's name should be accompanied by the names of other chief justices of high courts recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court when it is sent back to the government.

The Supreme Court collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Friday chose to reiterate its earlier recommendation to elevate the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court K.M. Joseph as a Judge of the apex court. These names are to be decided at a meeting to be held on 16 May.

Justice Kurian Joseph, during his visit to Kerala last week, had also reportedly made it clear that he was in favour of reiterating the recommendation of the Collegium on the issue concerning the Uttarakhand Chief Justice.

Two weeks after the Modi government, sitting on the recommendation for almost four months, sought reconsideration of Joseph's name saying it was in "violation of SC's parameters on seniority and merit", the collegium "in principle" unanimously agreed to reiterate his name for elevation.

The 15-minute meeting, which has a monopoly over the appointment of judges to constitutional courts, was marred by Justices Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph making a strong pitch for reiteration of Justice K M Joseph's name and insisting that his name be sent alone to the government for quick elevation.

They indicated that sending Justice Joseph's nomination along with the fresh recommendations would only give the government another opportunity to delay clearing his elevation by saying it would be approved along with the candidatures of the other nominees.

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On 2 May, when the collegium met to discuss the matter, it had to defer its decision due to a "lack of unanimity".

Official sources said the members of the Collegium deliberated on the issue for almost an hour. The government also reasoned that there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary.

Justice Joseph's elevation to the top court was, however, rejected by the government in April. Malhotra has since been sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court.

The meeting of the Collegium was expected to take place on May 9 but Justice Chelameswar was on leave.

Once the collegium sticks to its earlier recommendation to elevate justice Joseph, the government will be bound to appoint him as a Supreme Court judge, legal experts say according to reports.

In a detailed note to chief justice of India justice Dipak Mishra, the government said that the proposal to reconsider justice Joseph's name had the approval of president Ram Nath Kovind and prime minister Narendra Modi.

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