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The government had on April 26 returned the collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph seeking its reconsideration, saying 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. It had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the apex court.
Official sources said that the members of the collegium have been in consultation over the issue and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra is likely to convene the meeting on Friday.
Though there was no official word on it, the sources said it could take place any time after the completion of the matters on the board of the five judges.
It is pertinent to mention that Justice J Chelameswar, the senior-most judge of the apex court, had on Wednesday written a letter to the CJI asking him to convene the collegium’s meeting to urgently forward Justice Joseph’s name to the Centre.
According to an apex court official, Justice Chelameswar, in his letter sent to the CJI late last evening, has conveyed that he was reiterating his decision for the elevation of Justice Joseph as the judge of the top court as there was no change in the circumstances that had led the collegium to recommend his name to the government on January 10.
It is also learnt that Justice Chelameswar, who retires on June 22, has responded to all the points raised in the communication to the CJI by law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressing reservations on the elevation of Justice Joseph.
The meeting of the collegium was expected to take place yesterday but Justice Chelameswar was on leave. Besides the CJI and Justice Chelameswar, other members of the collegium are Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
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 of Uttarakhand Chief Justice Joseph.
Though no official word was there on when the collegium would meet, the official said it is for the CJI to fix the date as there is no other agenda but to discuss the issue of returning the recommendation relating to Justice Joseph to the Centre.
Earlier too, notwithstanding the letters written by the collegium members to the CJI which had come out in the public domain, the Centre had disregarded the recommendation about Justice Joseph.