No decision on Justice KM Joseph as yet

SC Collegium Again Defers Decision to Re-Recommend Justice KM Joseph

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

Since there was no unanimity on certain other names discussed for elevation to the Supreme Court, a formal decision on sending the fresh suggestions along with that of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph had been "deferred". The SC Collegium was to take up the issue and in a meeting on May 11, it had reiterated that it would go by its January 10 recommend, Justice Joseph to the High Court. While seeking reconsideration of Justice Joseph's elevation, Mr Prasad wanted adequate representation for minorities and other High Courts, which are not represented.

Several jurists, former judges and sdvocates have since then stepped forth, calling out the Centre for the move, and demanding reiteration of the recommendation by the Collegium. Thereafter, last week, it had unanimously agreed to re-recommend him, but had made a decision to take the final call on May 16.

The government had objected to his appointment, saying he was too junior to become a Supreme Court judge.

Sources told The Telegraph that the five-member collegium of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J. Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph met for over two hours on Wednesday evening. With Justice Chelameswar retiring on June 22 and Thursday being his last working day, the meeting can be held after the induction of Justice A.K. Sikri soon after the retirement of Justice Chelameswar.

In doing so, it has expressed its concurrence with a unanimous recommendation made in this regard by the Rajasthan High Court Collegium, as well as the state government. This is especially because Justice Joseph, in March 2016, had struck down the Centre's bid to dismiss the state government in Uttarakhand.

On April 26, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had announced that the government had cleared the elevation of advocate Ms Indu Malhotra and put on hold Justice Joseph's elevation. But it has made a decision to do so only while recommending - presumably on May 16 - the elevation of other chief justices of high courts, who may be in the zone of consideration, for appointment as Supreme court judges.



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