ibusinesslines.com September 23, 2018

Decision on KM Joseph deferred

17 May 2018, 02:24 | Erica Roy

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

KC Sharma

On May 11, the Collegium had declared that "The Chief Justice and other members of the Collegium have, on principle, unanimously agreed that the recommendation for appointment of Mr Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court (Parent High Court: Kerala) as a Judge of the Supreme Court should be reiterated".

Although the government had opposed Justice Joseph's name, it had not opposed the collegium's recommendation to elevate of senior advocate Indu Malhotra, who has, consequently, become a Supreme Court judge now.

An apex court official said that no decision has been taken as to when the recommendation will be sent to the Centre.

When the collegium sends the file back, the government will have to accept the recommendation.

The Collegium has recommended the name of Additional Judge justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala to be appointed as a permanent judge of the Rajasthan High Court.

Sources said the collegium met to deliberate on several issues, including reconsidering the name of Justice Joseph for elevation to the apex court, after it was returned by the Central government. The apex court is now functioning with just 25 judges, six below its sanctioned strength.

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.

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. The material considered includes the report of a two-Judge committee constituted to assess the judgments passed by Justice Jhala and the other recommended judges. Just to skirt its logic of other High Court chief justices senior to him being left out, the Bench also recommended elevation of three of them to the Supreme Court. Justice Chelameswar retires on June 22, but the Supreme Court goes on holiday from May 21 and reopens on July 2. 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.

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