Justice KM Joseph appointed as Supreme Court judge after months of tussle between Judiciary and Executive

Justice KM Joseph's name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium on January 10 this year, but the Centre returned the file for Joseph's elevation, citing his 'lack of seniority'.

Published: 04th August 2018 12:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2018 12:26 AM   |  A+A-

Justice KM Joseph (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After nearly four months of a tussle between the Executive and the Judiciary, the Centre late on Friday night appointed Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph as a Supreme Court judge along with Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee.

So, with this issue of notifications, all three names recommended by the Collegium for elevation to the apex court have been cleared.

Justice KM Joseph's name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium on January 10 this year along with the name of senior counsel Indu Malhotra, who is now a Supreme Court judge.

While the government agreed to the elevation of Indu Malhotra to the Supreme Court in April, it returned the file for Justice Joseph's elevation, citing Joseph's "lack of seniority."

The Executive had also pointed out that several high courts remain unrepresented and Justice Joseph’s elevation would be against the principle of regional representation. His parent high court is the Kerala HC.

The government was criticized by members of the legal fraternity as well as the opposition parties for segregation of the Collegium's proposal.

The Congress attacked the government for allegedly being vindictive towards Justice Joseph and accused the government of not clearing Justice Joseph's name due to a ruling he gave in 2016 against the BJP government in Uttarakhand when he had cancelled President's Rule in the state and brought back to power the Harish Rawat–led Congress government.

Critics of the government also recalled how Justice Joseph's transfer to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court never saw the light of day. However, the issue was not just reconsideration of a recommendation. The Collegium on May 16 in-principle reiterated the decision to recommend Justice Joseph's name.

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