Thursday, 16 August, 2018

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

SC Collegium Again Defers Decision to Re Recommend Justice K.M. Joseph Supreme Court. Credit Supreme Court
Deanna Wagner | 18 May, 2018, 17:56

The meeting mainly centred around names from the high courts of Calcutta, Telangana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and the Northeast for elevation to the Supreme Court.

This means that Justice Joseph would have to wait till the collegium zeroes in on the names of the other probables for the SC.

The collegium comprises Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four other senior-most judges of the apex court - Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.

According to the sources, since Justice K.M. Joseph's name had already been "in principle" reiterated at the last meeting, not much of Wednesday's discussion revolved around him. The collegium had earlier made a decision to consider other names from various high courts for appointment as SC judges and had deferred the deliberations to May 16.

The collegium intends to send Justice Joseph's name along with other names being considered for Supreme Court judgeships.

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The government had on April 26 returned the Collegium's recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph seeking its reconsideration, saying the proposal was not in accordance with the top court's parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails.

Besides Justice Joseph, the collegium had on 10 January also recommended the appointment of Senior Counsel (now a Judge) Indu Malhotra to the Supreme Court.

Chelameswar, whose last working day, after a seven-year stint in the apex court, falls on May 18, was the lone judge on the bench to uphold the validity of the NJAC, arguing that entirely eliminating the government from selection process was against the country's democratic principles.

Friday's meeting came in the backdrop of a letter written by Justice Chelameswar, the number two-judge of the SC, to the Chief Justice, strongly backing Justice Joseph. But it is likely that the collegium may first consider six chief justices, in addition to K.M. Joseph, for filling the current vacancies in the apex court.