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The collegium, which comprises Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph met today to deliberate the case of Justice KM Joseph’s elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court after the government sent back his name for reconsideration last month.
The collegium also reserved its decision on names of judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telengana and Andhra Pradesh high courts for appointment as SC judges.
Justice Joseph’s name was recommended along with the senior advocate Indu Malhotra on January 10 for their elevation as apex court judges. While Malhotra was sworn in as the judge of the apex court on April 27, the Centre declined to accept the recommendation of the collegium and asked it to reconsider Joseph’s name.
Justice K M Joseph, who had headed the bench that had quashed the Narendra Modi government’s decision to impose President’s rule in the Congress-ruled hill state in 2016, was not considered to be elevated as a Supreme Court judge by the Centre which said the proposal was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails.
His seniority was also questioned by the Centre which said “he stands at Sl. No.45 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on all-India basis.”
Justice Joseph, who turns 60 this June, has been the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand high court since July 2014. He was appointed a permanent judge of the Kerala High Court on October 14, 2004 and assumed charge of the Uttarakhand High Court on July 31, 2014.
(With PTI inputs)