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SC Collegium sticks to Joseph's elevation

14 May 2018

"The proposed appointment of Justice K.M. Joseph as a judge of the Supreme Court at this stage does not appear to be appropriate". The next meeting will be held on May 16 evening.

As first reported by ThePrint, at that meeting, while the CJI pushed for names of senior judges from the high courts of Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court, the other four judges were in agreement that Joseph's name must first be reiterated before discussing fair regional representation from other high courts.

The Centre on April 26 returned the collegium's recommendation to elevate justice Joseph on the grounds that the proposal was not in accordance with the top court's parameters.

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Justice Kurian Joseph, during his visit to Kerala last week, had also reportedly made it clear that he was in favour of reiterating the recommendation of the Collegium on the issue concerning the Uttarakhand Chief Justice.

According to current norms, a unanimous reiteration must be agreed to by the Centre and the Judge must be sworn in. To consider reiteration of the recommendation dated January 10, 2018 for elevation of Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court [Parent High Court: Kerala] as Judge of the Supreme Court. 2.

The additional names were considered in light of the Modi government's insistence, underlined in its letter to CJI Dipak Misra while returning the name of Joseph for reconsideration, that seniority and the principle of regional representation must be taken into consideration while recommending names.

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This resolution of the issue would in effect affect Justice Joseph's seniority, likely precluding his chances to be a part of the Collegium in the future or becoming Chief Justice. During his tenure as chief judge, the court undertook a number of measures to improve accessibility to the court and the effectiveness of court procedures. Justice J. Chelameswar -the second senior-most judge in the collegium, who was part of the January news conference where Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra's handling of the case roster was questioned - is due to retire on June 22. But government sources denied this saying Justice J S Khehar who headed the Constitution bench which struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission had gone on to become Chief Justice of India.

The executive remains cut up about Justice Joseph having cancelled President's rule imposed by the Centre on the state.

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SC Collegium sticks to Joseph's elevation