SC vs Centre: Justice Joseph row explained

14 May, 2018, 00:13 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Justice KM Joseph's Elevation as Supreme Court Judge Recommended Again by Collegium

"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. should be reiterated", the official resolution says.

However, the collegium also decided that the said reiteration should be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of Chief Justices of High Courts for elevation for which detailed discussion is required.

Lately, Justice J Chelameswar, the senior most judge of the apex court, wrote to the CJI on May 9 urging him to convene a meeting to reiterate Justice Joseph's name.

In today's meeting, the agenda was same and besides Justice Jospeph, the Collegium deliberated on the names of some judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as apex court judges.

With the collegium likely to assert its authority in appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court, this is expected to result in a major confrontation with the Centre, which has expressed its reservations on Justice Joseph's appointment to the top court.

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However, Justice Gogoi, who will succeed CJI Misra on October 3, and Justice Lokur agreed with the CJI that when there were seven vacancies in the Supreme Court, it would be improper for the collegium to send only one name to the government. The Centre argued that this HC has enjoyed fair representation in the SC and now has a judge from that State HC.

Reacting to the Centre's response, CJI Misra had said the government is "within its rights" to send back a name for reconsideration. It is learnt that the government has to follow the guidelines laid down by the apex court in its 1993 and 1998 judgements relating to the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

There has been speculation that Justice Jospeh's name wasn't cleared because he, in 2016, had revoked the president's rule in Uttarakhand, thus enabling the Congress to remain in power, something that did not go down well with the ruling BJP.

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.

These include: Justice Joseph is at No. 42 in the All India High Court Judges' Seniority List; his parent High Court of Kerala has "adequate representation in the Supreme Court"; several High Courts are "not represented in the Supreme Court at present"; and, "there is no representation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in the Supreme Court since long".

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