Reconsider recommendation on Justice K M Joseph's elevation, Centre tells Supreme Court collegium  

The move comes a day after government cleared appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as Supreme Court judge and kept in abeyance a decision on Joseph,  who heads the Uttarakhand High Court.

Published: 26th April 2018 02:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2018 03:29 PM   |  A+A-

Justice KM Joseph (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Setting the stage for a massive confrontation with the judiciary, the government on Thursday returned to the Supreme Court collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph to the apex court. 

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday morning wrote a six-page letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, requesting the SC collegium, which comprises five senior-most judges of the apex court, to "reconsider" its decision regarding elevation of Justice Joseph. 

The development comes a day after the government cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court and kept in abeyance a decision on Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court. Both the names were recommended by the collegium in January this year.

Critics of the government say that the government has refused Justice Joseph's name for elevation because of a ruling he gave in 2016 as a judge of the Uttarakhand High court. At that time, Justice Joseph had cancelled President's rule in Uttarakhand and brought back the Congress government of Harish Rawat to power in the state. The judgement was seen as major setback to the BJP-ruled government at the Centre.

 However, the government denied such claims on Thursday. Senior officials in the law ministry said that Justice Joseph's name was not recommended "in terms of seniority and merit and fair representation." The letter says that Kerala High court, which is the parent high court of Justice Joseph, already has "adequate" representation in the 24 High Courts and the Supreme Court of India because three judges from Kerala are Chief Justices in the High Courts and the apex court also has a judge from Kerala. 

 This segregation of the Collegium's recommendation has upset many in the legal fraternity. The Supreme Court Bar Association has also termed the government's move as "disturbing."   According to sources, the judges of the SC collegium may meet during the day to discuss the issue and respond appropriately to the government. “We support the appointment of Indu Malhotra. The demand is the collegium should assert the appointment of Justice Joseph and Ms Malhotra.”

Meanwhile, the Congress also criticized the government on Thursday for not approving Justice Joseph’s elevation.  It accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in “revenge politics” by "refusing" to clear the elevation of the country's senior-most chief justice, KM Joseph, to the Supreme Court.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.