New Delhi: The government on Thursday asked the Supreme Court collegium to reconsider its recommendation for elevating Justice KM Joseph to the apex court, sources said. This comes a day after the government cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court and kept in abeyance a decision on Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court. Both the names were recommended by the collegium earlier this year.
The government's decision of not approving Joseph's name has evoked sharp reactions with the Supreme Court Bar Association President terming it as "disturbing".
The Congress also on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in "revenge politics" by "refusing" to clear the elevation of the country's most senior chief justice, KM Joseph, to the Supreme Court.
The judiciary is under the "most vicious attack ever" and totalitarianism will stump democracy if the nation does not rise now, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged.
"PM Modi's revenge politics qua judiciary and conspiratorial suffocation of Supreme Court exposed again," Surjewala said on Twitter, adding that Justice Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court, is India's most senior chief justice. "Yet Modi Government refuses to clear his elevation to SC as retribution for quashing presidential rule in Uttarakhand," he said.
His remarks came amid reports that the government has cleared the name of Indu Malhotra as Supreme Court judge, while putting on hold the elevation of Justice Joseph. "Modiji shredded Parliamentary privileges and supremacy. He road-rolled independent media. Democracy's last refuge i.E Judiciary is now under most vicious attack ever. If the Nation doesn't rise in unison now, totalitarianism will stump democracy," Surjewala tweeted.
He accused the Modi government of being a habitual offender of trashing "judicial integrity" and the "constitutional supremacy" of institutions. "In June 2014, it refused to clear noted jurist Gopal Subramaniam's name for elevation to the Supreme Court as he was a lawyer against Amit Shah and Co", the Congress leader said.