SC Collegium agrees to reiterate recommendation for Justice KM Joseph - with others

14 May, 2018, 00:14 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Supreme Court file

A top court official said that Justice Chelameswar, in his letter sent to the CJI, had conveyed that he was reiterating his decision favouring elevation of Justice Joseph as the judge of the apex court as there was no change in the circumstances that had led the Collegium to recommend his name to the government on January 10.

The Supreme Court Collegium today unanimously agreed, on principle, that the recommendation for appointment of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice KM Joseph, as a Judge of the Supreme Court should be reiterated.

The collegium held a four-hour meeting to deliberate upon the matter after the Centre returned Court's recommendation and requested the collegium to reconsider the recommendation. The formula is that it is likely to allow Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph an entry into the Supreme Court only as a junior, leaving him little or no chance to enter the Collegium in the future, leave alone ever becoming Chief Justice.

The elevation of Justice Joseph, who is presently the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, had run into rough weather after the Centre wrote to the Collegium on April 26 and April 30 to reconsider his name.

It had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the apex court.

The parent High Court of Justice Joseph is Kerala High Court.

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On May 2, too, the collegium had met and informally agreed on reaffirming Justice Joseph's candidature but deferred a formal decision.

"While Justice Joseph's nomination had been cleared by the collegium on January 11, the others are yet to be approved - so they are on a different footing", a source said. One, that he was not senior enough as he stood at number 42 in the seniority list, and second, that he hailed from Kerala, a state which already has enough representation in the SC.

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

Justice Thomas J. Crabtree, of the Provincial Court of British Columbia, has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Chilliwack.

The reiteration of Justice Joseph's candidature can now be sent to the government earliest by May 16, provided the collegium can agree on all the fresh recommendations on that day, or later. Malhotra has since been sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Justice Chelameswar, who retires on June 22, was also understood to have responded to all the points raised in the communication to the CJI by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressing reservations on the elevation of Justice Joseph.

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