New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium, which met on Wednesday to discuss the elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph to the apex court, deferred its decision.
The Collegium has favoured “further deliberation” and “broad-based consideration” of names of Chief Justices of various high courts before sending its decision reiterating the elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph as a judge of the top court.
The resolution of the 16 May collegium meeting, uploaded on the apex court website today, stated that there was a need for deliberation on bringing the judges from the high courts, which are not represented, to the Supreme Court.
“Today (16 May), in the meeting of the Collegium, a unanimous view was expressed that there should be further deliberation and broad-based consideration of the names of the Chief Justices as well as Judges of the High Courts which are at present not represented in the Supreme Court.
“In view of the above, the meeting stands deferred to be held at the earliest,” the resolution said.
Official sources on 16 May had said that the Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four senior-most judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph, deliberated for more than an hour. This meeting was the second in five days.
Today was the last working day of Justice Chelameswar, who retires on 22 June, as the court’s summer vacation starts tomorrow.
At the May 11 meeting, the five-member Collegium agreed “in principle” to reiterate its January 10 recommendation to the government to elevate Justice Joseph. The government had objected to his appointment, saying he was too junior to become a Supreme Court judge. The Collegium had resolved to send back his name, along with a list of fresh names of High Court judges for appointment to the apex court.
Official sources said those high court judges who are in the race to be elevated to the apex court are Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, who is originally from the Calcutta HC, Gujarat HC Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, whose parent cadre is Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC, and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from Rajasthan HC.
The government had on 26 April returned the Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph seeking its reconsideration, 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. It had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the apex court.