In the wake of government’s decision to return the name of Justice K M Joseph for elevation to the Supreme Court, the five-member Collegium is likely to meet next Wednesday.
In the wake of government’s decision to return the name of Justice K M Joseph for elevation to the Supreme Court, the five-member Collegium is likely to meet next Wednesday. CJI Dipak Misra has reportedly decided next Wednesday as the day for the meeting of the Collegium and indicated it to other members. Although no formal agenda for the Collegium meeting has been spoken about, it is expected that it will mainly be about the reconsideration of Justice Joseph’s, Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, name for elevation to the Supreme Court.
On Friday, CJI Dipak Misra sent a copy of Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s letter returning Justice Joseph’s name to all members of the Collegium. In his letter, Ravi Shankar Prasad had mentioned the reasons why his appointment “at this stage does not appear to be appropriate”. “Justice Joseph is at serial number 42 in the All India High Court Judges’ Seniority List; his parent High Court of Kerala has “adequate representation in the Supreme Court”; several High Courts are “not represented in the Supreme Court at present”; and, “there is no representation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in the Supreme Court since long,” said Prasad.
Former CJI RM Lodha was quoted as saying by IE that the Chief Justice of India, in such a situation, should immediately call a meeting of the Collegium and take up the matter with the government. He had also stressed that “the Chief Justice cannot sit over the file either, indefinitely, as can’t the government”.
Besides CJI Misra, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph are members of the Collegium. While recommending the names of Justice Joseph and advocate Indu Malhotra, the Collegium had earlier said that Justice K M Joseph “is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India”
On Thursday, the government returned the collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice K M Joseph as a Supreme Court judge, saying the proposal was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was an adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails. Justifying its stand of returning the recommendation, the Centre sent a detailed note to Chief Justice Dipak Misra giving reasons to the Supreme Court collegium for its decision, including that seniority may not be an important consideration to ensure regional representation.