NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court’s five-member collegium on Wednesday met briefly but adjourned for next week its discussion on the Centre’s rejection of the candidature of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court K M Joseph for elevation to the highest court.
It was also learnt that the collegium did not discuss any specific names of other high court chief justices for elevation to the Supreme Court.
Contrary to speculations, sources confirmed to TNIE that though the agenda was to examine the government’s response to Justice Joseph’s elevation, during the brief meeting they agreed to discuss it at length early next week when the collegium will meet again.
At the end of the meeting, the Supreme Court registry put out the agenda for the meeting, signed by all members of the collegium – Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B Lokur (see box).
During the day, uncertainty prevailed over whether the collegium meeting would take place as Justice Chelameswar did not attend the court. He came to the court at 4 pm only for the meeting.
Last week, the Centre had refused to accept the decision of the collegium to elevate Justice Joseph. One of the reasons cited was that his parent High Court of Kerala already had a representation in Justice Kurian Joseph, while many high courts had no representation in the Supreme Court.
The Centre had ignored convention that the collegium’s recommendation be treated as a whole, when it split a January file and appointed Justice Indu Malhotra alone as a judge. She was sworn in last week.
Many former CJIs, including R M Lodha and T S Thakur, have described the decision of the Centre as wrong and asked the collegium to reiterate its decision to elevate Justice Joseph in the interest of independence of the judiciary.
Text of the SC resolution
To reconsider the case of Mr Justice K M Joseph, pursuant to letters dates April 26 and 30 received from Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India and also to consider the names of Judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court in view of the concept of fair representation. Deferred.