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

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However, the 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, it said.

The collegium in principle on Friday agreed to reiterate Uttarakhand high court chief justice KM Joseph's name for elevation to the top court, but made a decision to send it back along with some other names for appointment as judges.

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

In its meeting today, it "unanimously agreed" that that the recommendation for appointment of Justice KM Joseph as a Judge of the Supreme Court "should be reiterated".

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The Supreme Court Collegium on Friday agreed to restate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph's name for elevation to the top court. In 2010, Justice Crabtree was appointed chief judge and he served in this capacity until his appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. "We have simply asked for reconsideration", he said, adding that the Centre's response is not linked to Justice Joseph being part of the Uttarakhand HC bench in 2016 which ruled against the government.

"While Justice Joseph's nomination had been cleared by the collegium on January 11, the others are yet to be approved - so they are on a different footing", a source said. It also argued that Justice Joseph's parent high court, the one in Kerala, was over-represented in the apex court. The collegium consisted of a group of five most-senior judges. If the Collegium sends it back a second time, as in the present case, the Centre is bound to accept the recommendation. The Government followed the principle of seniority laid down by the past Supreme Court decisions on judicial appointments and found Justice Joseph to be ranked 42 on the all-India judges' seniority list. A wide range of issues relating to appointment of judges from High Courts, which did not have representation, was discussed, which remained inconclusive. On May 2, the collegium met to reconsider Joseph's elevation to the Supreme Court.

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 Centre, while returning the file of Justice Joseph to the collegium, had also mentioned that judges from various high courts have not found place in the apex court.