Supreme Court agreed to reiterate Justice Joseph's name for elevation to SC

Collegium likely to repeat recommendation for Justice KM Joseph to SC…

It is learnt that the Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M.B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, would send Justice K.M. Joseph's name along with the recommendations for other names for elevation as Supreme Court judges.

"However, the said reiteration should also be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of chief justices of high courts for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court, for which detailed discussion is required", a note put up on the court website after the meeting said.

The Supreme Court collegium on Friday unanimously agreed to reaffirm the nomination of Justice K.M. Joseph for elevation to the Supreme Court, after the Centre had returned the earlier recommendation for reconsideration, but chose not to send the file immediately. 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.

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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 concerning the Uttarakhand Chief Justice.

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. The Centre argued that this HC has enjoyed fair representation in the SC and now has a judge from that State HC.

Over a week after it failed to forge a consensus, the Supreme Court collegium Friday unanimously chose to reiterate its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court chief justice K.M. Joseph to the apex court.

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It is important for all members of the collegium to be on board as the 1988 Supreme Court ruling in the Third Judges Case specifies that the reiteration of a name must be unanimous and not a vote by majority.

Reacting to the Centre's response, CJI Misra had said the government is "within its rights" to send back a name for reconsideration. Currently, there are 25 judges in the apex court, still short of its actual strength by six members. But government sources denied this saying Justice J S Khehar who headed the Constitution bench which struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission had gone on to become Chief Justice of India.

Critics, however, sought to link the government's decision not to return Justice K M Joseph's name to his 2016 decision to overturn President's rule imposed by the NDA government in Uttarakhand.

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