SC Collegium to unanimously reiterate Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation

SC Collegium to unanimously reiterate Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation

SC Collegium to unanimously reiterate Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation

"The Chief Justice and other members of the collegium have, in principle, unanimously agreed that the recommendation for appointment of Justice KM Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand HC as a judge of the SC should be reiterated".

According to reports, the Centre had objected saying- Justice Joseph was 42nd in terms of seniority in High Court judges across the country and observed that there were 11 chief justices of different high courts who were senior to justice Joseph.

A crucial meeting of the collegium on Friday sent out strong signals that the controversy is not going to die down soon with the top body unanimously agreeing in principle to reiterate the recommendation for the elevation of justice Joseph.

The next meeting of Collegium will be held at 4.15 pm on May 16.

The collegium consists of five judges: the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan Bhimrao Lokur.

On April 26, the government, however, had returned the Collegium's recommendation of elevating Justice Joseph.

Though Justice Chelameswar, who retires on June 22, wasn't present at the meeting, he backed reiteration of the name.

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However, the collegium will also recommend names of some other senior high court chief justices with Joseph. In a strongly worded letter to CJI Misra, Justice Kurian Joseph said the "very life and existence" of the Supreme Court was under threat and "history will not pardon us", if the court doesn't respond to the government sitting on the recommendation.

Justice Joseph headed the Uttarakhand HC bench that had quashed the President rule imposed by the Central government in 2016, a year before the elections.

The collegium also made a decision to send few more names taking into consideration the fact that there are seven vacancies to be filled in the apex court and five judges who are retiring shortly.

The crisis took a new turn on April 20 when seven opposition parties submitted a petition seeking impeachment of justice Mishra to vice-president Venkaiah Naidu, with signatures from 71 parliamentarians.

The Collegium had last met on May 2 to reconsider the case of Justice K M Joseph in view of the letter from the government. 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.

The move was considered to be unprecedented as no erstwhile governments had refrained from accepting the recommendations sent by the Collegium.

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