Top 5 SC judges to reiterate Justice Joseph's name for elevation to apex court

Justice Joseph's elevation to the Supreme Court was returned by the Centre in April.

Top 5 SC judges to reiterate Justice Joseph's name for elevation to apex court
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NEW DELHI: Following a meeting, the Supreme Court collegium on Friday unanimously agreed in principle to reiterate the name of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph for an elevation to the apex court. The collegium consisted of a group of five most-senior judges.

Justice Joseph's elevation to the top court was, however, rejected by the government in April. According to the collegium resolution, his name would accompany recommendations for other names for elevation as SC judges.

Official sources said the members of the Collegium deliberated on the issue for nearly an hour.

All members of the Collegium - Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, participated in the deliberations.

The decision to convene the meeting was taken on Thursday evening by the CJI.

It is pertinent to mention that Justice J Chelameswar, the senior-most judge of the apex court, had on May 9 written a letter to the CJI urging him to convene the Collegium meet to urgently forward Justice Joseph's name to the Centre.

On April 26, the government, however, had returned the Collegium's recommendation of elevating Justice Joseph. Seeking its reconsideration, the government said that the proposal was not in accordance with the top court's parameters. It also added that there was an adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails. The Centre had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the apex court.

A top court official said that Justice Chelameswar, in his letter sent to the CJI, had conveyed that he was reiterating his decision favouring elevation of Justice Joseph as the judge of the apex court as there was no change in the circumstances that had led the Collegium to recommend his name to the government on January 10.

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 meeting of the Collegium was likely to be held on May 9, however, Justice Chelameswar was on leave.

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 inputs from agencies)