Decision on KM Joseph deferred


The Supreme Court collegium on Wednesday once again deferred the decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the top court.

"In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend, for the present, that Mr. Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala, Additional Judge be appointed as Permanent Judge of the Rajasthan High Court against one of the existing vacancies".

On Wednesday, there was a detailed discussion in the collegium but sources said no unanimity was reached on names that could be recommended for appointment as SC judges. The proposal pertaining to other Additional Judges whose current term would be expiring much later will be taken up for consideration at appropriate stage.

It had then adopted a resolution which stated that there was need for further discussion on the issue of sending the other names to the Centre. This issue may come up at the next meeting.

The collegium, which had met last on May 2, parted on an inconclusive note. The apex court is now functioning with just 25 judges, six below its sanctioned strength.

"The Chief Justice and other members of the Collegium have, on principle, unanimously agreed that the recommendation for appointment of Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court (Parent High Court: Kerala) as a Judge of the Supreme Court should be reiterated".

The collegium comprises Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four other senior-most judges of the apex court - Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.

When the collegium finally formalises its reiteration of Justice Joseph and sends the file back to the government, the latter would be bound by the collegium's decision. Justice Malhotra is already functioning as a Supreme Court judge. Five judges of the court are scheduled to retire in 2018, Justice Chelameswar as early as June 22. But it has chose to do so only while recommending - presumably on May 16 - the elevation of other chief justices of high courts, who may be in the zone of consideration, for appointment as Supreme court judges.