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Recommendation not meeting parameters: Government on not approving Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph

 The government on Thursday justified its decision of not approving the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph, saying the proposal was not in accordance

Published: 27th April 2018 02:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2018 03:46 AM   |  A+A-

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday justified its decision of not approving the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph, saying the proposal was not in accordance with the apex court’s parameters of regional representation, seniority and no SC/ST representation. 

In, a letter, the government said there were “elaborate reasons” why it wanted the Collegium to reconsider its recommendation. “It may....be relevant to mention here that there is no representation of SC/ST communities in SC since long,” it stated.​

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

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote there was “adequate representation” of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where Justice Joseph hails because three judges from Kerala are Chief Justices in the high courts and the apex court also has a judge from Kerala.  Considering that Joseph is the senior most among all chief justices of the 24 high courts, Prasad wrote that a candidate’s seniority may be overlooked in order to ensure regional representation. But the letter did mention seniority, making it clear that there are judges in some high courts who are senior to the Uttarakhand Chief Justice.

“The seniority of judges also plays own critical role. It is understood that seniority of judges of high courts is only maintained at all India level...In the all India high court judges’ seniority list, Justice KM Joseph is placed at 42. There are 11 chief justices of various high courts who are senior to him,” the government said in the letter. However, in seniority, from the date of his appointment, Justice Joseph leads the rest of the high court Chief Justices by at least two years.The government also quoted from SC orders known as the ‘Second and Third Judges’ cases on the Collegium system to substantiate its decision of returning Justice Joseph’s file.  



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