Justice KM Joseph to be Juniormost judge in Supreme Court

The Government has put him last on the list of three judges appointed on Friday, making him juniormost.

Published: 05th August 2018 07:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2018 12:01 PM   |  A+A-

Justice KM Joseph

Justice KM Joseph (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Justice KM Joseph was finally appointed to the Supreme Court late Friday night. But there’s a catch: he will be the juniormost judge of the apex court. Ending a protracted stand-off between the government and the judiciary, President Ram Nath Kovind issued the warrants of appointment to Justice KM Joseph and Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran to the Supreme Court almost at midnight Friday. They will be sworn in by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Tuesday.

The Collegium had recommended Justice Joseph’s name on January 10 this year with the name of senior counsel Indu Malhotra, who is now a Supreme Court judge, but the government, citing “lack of seniority” and inadequate regional representation of some states in the apex court, returned the file.  His name was sent again on July 16.

By putting him last on the list of three judges appointed late Friday, the government has ensured that Justice Joseph is the juniormost judge, since a judge in the SC gets seniority from the time he takes oath. However, he will serve a term of over four years.

The earlier rejection by the government was criticised by members of the legal fraternity as well as the opposition parties. The Congress accused the government of being vindictive towards Justice Joseph due to a ruling he gave in 2016 against the BJP government in Uttarakhand, cancelling President’s rule in the state and bringing the Congress government of Harish Rawat back in the state.

Justice Joseph’s father K K Mathew was a judge of the Supreme Court of India, and chairman of tenth Law Commission. With the Centre clearing the appointment of three judges, the present strength of apex court judges comes to 25 but there would still be six vacancies.

Meanwhile, Indira Banerjee will become the eighth woman judge who made it to the apex court in its history. The Supreme Court will now have three women judges simultaneously for the first time in its sixty-eight years of existence.

How the apex court determines seniority

  •  The date a judge was appointed to Supreme Court
  • If two judges are elevated to SC on the same day, the one sworn in first becomes senior
  • If both are sworn in on the same day, the one with more years of high court tenure would be  ranked higher

Woman judge
Indira Banerjee will become the eighth woman judge who made it to SC in its history. The Supreme Court will now have three women judges for the first time in its 68 years’ existence

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

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.

facebook twitter whatsapp