CJI to take up Justice KM Joseph’s seniority issue with government

CJI Dipak Misra told the apex court judges, including Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph, that he would discuss the issue with Attorney General KK Venugopal.

CJI to take up Justice KM Joseph’s seniority issue with government

Miffed with the central government over lowering the seniority of Justice KM Joseph, several Supreme Court judges on Monday raised the issue with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The matter was raised by the judges during a morning meet with the CJI, who assured that he would take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

The CJI told the apex court judges, including Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph, that he would discuss the issue with Attorney General KK Venugopal. The judges are miffed as the central government’s move lowers Justice KM Joseph’s seniority against Justice Indra Banerjee and Justice Vineet Sharan, who have also been elevated to the top court.

All the three judges are slated to take oath as Supreme Court judges at 10.30 am on Tuesday.

Earlier reports had said that the miffed judges wanted CJI Misra to take corrective measures before their swearing-in ceremony. Some members of the Supreme Court Bar Association have also said that they would make a representation on the issue.

Justice Joseph, the chief justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, had headed a bench, which had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the state in 2016. Uttarakhand was then under the Congress rule.

The collegium had, on January 10, recommended the name of Justice Joseph, along with that of senior advocate Indu Malhotra, for elevation to the apex court.

However, the government had returned Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration and gone ahead with the appointment of Justice Malhotra.

The August 4 appointment notification has placed Justice Joseph after Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Vineet Saran.

The warrants of appointment of the three judges were signed by the President on August 3. The number of judges in the top court after the fresh appointments has gone up to 25. There are still six vacancies.

(With PTI inputs)

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