SC Collegium sticks to Joseph's elevation

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The Centre had the following objections - it said Justice Joseph stood at number 42 in the seniority of high court judges and there were 11 chief justices of different high courts who would senior to him - a clear suggestion that his elevation to the Supreme Court would be at their expense. According to a report in Times of India, the collegium will be sending Joseph's name along with a few other names for SC judge appointments.

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 resolution uploaded on the Supreme Court website says, the collegium met to consider reiteration of the recommendation dated 10th January, 2018 for elevation of Mr. Justice K.M. Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court [Parent HC: "Kerala] as Judge of the Supreme Court; to consider names of High Court Judges for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court". The Centre had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the apex court. There are some indications that separate files could be sent - one for Justice K M Joseph's name and the other for more judges.

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

The three prevailed over Justices Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph and asserted that the serious issue of nonrepresentation of several HCs in the SC should be considered as it was incongruous with the two Constitution bench judgments in 1993 and 1998 which created the collegium system.

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The other two are in critical condition, ' said Prem Balram, a spokesman for Reaction Unit SA (RUSA) who was first on the scene. Speaking further, the representative noted that there had already been theft and robbery incidents at the mosque before.

The Central government also flagged the absence of SC/ST judges in the top judiciary.

Justices Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph revolted first through a historic press meet in which they alleged discrepancies in allotment of matters to benches and formation of Constitution Benches done by the chief justice.

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. Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65.

Returning Justice K M Joseph's name, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a letter to the CJI, underlined that "this proposal for reconsideration...has the approval of the Hon'ble President and the Hon'ble Prime Minister" and had listed reasons why his appointment "at this stage does not appear to be appropriate".