May 23, 2018

Decision on Justice Joseph's elevation to top court deferred again

17 May 2018, 02:24 | Taylor George

Supreme Court. Credit Supreme Court

SC Collegium Again Defers Decision to Re Recommend Justice K.M. Joseph

This is the collegium's second meeting to firm up its response to the centre's decision that has set up a face-off between the judiciary and the executive and has been described as an attack on the independence of the judiciary.

The Supreme Court's five-member collegium headed by CJI Dipak Misra on Wednesday could not reach a consensus on names to be recommended for appointment as SC judges, along with reiteration of the proposal to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph to the apex court.

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

The Collegium is to meet again on May 16 to discuss the other judges. The apex court is now functioning with just 25 judges, six below its sanctioned strength.

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This was despite the fact that while recommending him in January, the resolution signed by five collegium members had stated that they found Justice K.M. Joseph to be "more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne judges of high courts for being appointed as judges of the Supreme Court of India". This was the collegium's third meeting since the Centre returned the file of Justice Joseph.

But, as no decision could be taken on elevation of other judges to the apex court, the two-hour collegium meeting also deferred the decision for reiteration of elevation of Justice Joseph to the Supreme Court, said court sources. Justice Chelameswar retires on June 22, but the Supreme Court goes on holiday from May 21 and reopens on July 2.

It had then also made a decision to consider the names of other High Court Judges for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court.

Justice Jhala's name has been approved after taking into consideration the material on record.

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