Justice Chelameswar writes letter to CJI Dipak Misra, calls for Collegium meeting on Justice Joseph's SC elevation
Justice Chelameswar is due to retire on June 22 but since court goes off for six-week summer vacations from May 19, he has just a few days left for completing official works at hand.
NEW DELHI: With just a few days left for retirement, the second senior most Supreme Court Judge Justice J Chelameswar has written to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra saying that the collegium meeting should be called soon to reiterate their decision to elevate Justice K M Joseph to the apex court after the government sent back his name.
Justice Chelameswar is due to retire on June 22 but since court goes off for six-week summer vacations from May 19, he has just a few days left for completing his official works. He has been skipping courts too to write judgements on the cases on which he has reserved the order. He has also refused to be part of the farewell function which was scheduled for May 18 by Supreme Court Bar Association.
In his letter, Justice Chelameswar cited the discussions held in the last collegium meeting and stated the rebuttal points against the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s letter about reconsidering Justice Joseph for elevation.
After the Centre's rejection of Justice Joseph, one of the two names recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court, the collegium met on May 2 but put off announcing a decision.
According to sources privy to the development, no collegium meeting has been scheduled yet on this. If the collegium sends back a name, the centre has no choice but to accept it.
The Centre's objection to Justice Joseph has been linked to his decision to cancel President's rule in Uttarakhand in 2016, which facilitated the return of the Congress government. However, Ravi Shankar Prasad has denied this.
While objecting to Justice Joseph's elevation, the centre accepted the elevation of Indu Malhotra, who was sworn in last month.
The government argued that Justice Joseph was not senior enough - he is number 42 in the All India High Court Judge's list. But he is the senior most Chief Justice amongst the 24 high courts.
The government has sent back Justice Joseph's name based on the argument that there is already adequate representation from the Kerala High Court in the Supreme Court and among Chief Justices in the High Courts.