Tussle between judiciary and Centre reaches all-time high: Justice Joseph’s elevation spiked

Centre chose to accept the docket on senior advocate Indu Malhotra for elevation as a Supreme Court judge but spiked that on Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph.

Published: 27th April 2018 02:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2018 03:48 AM   |  A+A-

Justice K M Joseph. | Suvajit Dey

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The tussle between the judiciary and the Union government reached an all-time high on Thursday when the Centre chose to accept the docket on senior advocate Indu Malhotra for elevation as a Supreme Court judge but spiked that on Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph.

The two recommendations had been sent together. The government asked the collegium to reconsider its decision on Justice Joseph.

Both recommendations had been pending with the law ministry since January 10, 2018. Sections of the legal fraternity as well as the opposition launched a broadside on the government for alleged cherry picking. The Congress attacked the government for being vindictive and accused it of not clearing Justice Joseph’s name because of his ruling in 2016 against the BJP in Uttarakhand.

READ | Elevation of Justice KM Joseph: Government’s reasoning for rejecting Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation doesn’t hold water

He had cancelled President’s Rule in the state and restored the Congress government of Harish Rawat.
Critics of the government also recalled how Justice Joseph’s transfer to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court never saw light of the day.However, the issue is not just about returning of a file on a collegium recommendation to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra for reconsideration. 

The concern is over the Centre’s attempt to use the reconsideration option to deny Justice Joseph seniority within the Supreme Court by clearing Malhotra’s appointment first. If the collegium submits the same name again, it would be binding on the Centre to clear the appointment. 

The government sent back Justice Joseph’s name based on the argument that there is already adequate representation from the Kerala High Court in the SC and among chief justices in the HCs.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a letter to  CJI Misra, argued that Justice Joseph’s elevation to the SCwould breach the norm of seniority amongst judges of the high courts.

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.