Breaking: Collegium defers (for the third time) decision on elevation of Justice KM Joseph to SC

The Supreme Court Collegium has againg deferred the decision regarding the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court’s Chief Justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court, according to sources.

The Collegium met in the Supreme Court at 4.15 pm today and had a long discussion before deciding to defer the issue for the third time.

The Collegium had earlier met twice before to consider this issue. On May 2, the Court had deferred decision on the same.

In the subsequent meeting on May 11, the Collegium had agreed on principle, that the recommendation for appointment of Justice Joseph, as Supreme Court judge should be reiterated.

However, the Collegium also resolved that the said reiteration should be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of Chief Justices of High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, for which, it stated, a detailed discussion is required. It had, therefore, deferred its decision again.

The Collegium had first recommended the name of Justice KM Joseph for elevation to Supreme Court along with the name of Justice Indu Malhotra, on January 10 this year.

After more than three months, the Centre cleared the file of Indu Malhotra and notified her appointment to the Supreme Court on April 26.

However, it refused to clear Justice Joseph’s file sending it back to the Collegium with a 6-page explanatory note on why it did not want him to be elevated to Supreme Court.

This had led to a huge outcry, with many in the legal fraternity alleging that the Centre did so because of a judgment rendered by Justice Joseph, by which he struck down Presidential rule in the State of Uttarakhand.

Some lawyers had even mentioned the matter before CJI Dipak Misra and demanded that there should be a stay on the warrant of appointment of Indu Malhotra till the file of Justice Joseph is cleared.

A petition also came to be filed in Supreme Court by former district judge at Solapur, Maharashtra, GD Inamdar praying that the Centre’s rejection of Justice Joseph’s appointment be set aside.