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Collegium meeting on KM Joseph, other judges remains inconclusive

Collegium meeting on KM Joseph, other judges remains inconclusive

The Supreme Court collegium on Wednesday once again deferred the decision to re-recommend Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice K.M. Joseph for elevation to the Supreme Court.

He had also written to CJI Khehar, protesting how coffeetable meetings were being passed off as collegium meetings by him brushing aside norms.

File image of Justice KM Joseph.

On October 15 in 2015, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court struck down the NDA governments National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), Act, that was envisaged to replace the controversial 24-year-old collegium system of judges appointing judges. While returning the name of Justice Joseph, the government cleared Justice Malhotra's appointment. Members also deliberated on whether Justice Joseph would lose his seniority if his name was clubbed with the others.

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Legal experts asked why the collegium, having "unanimously agreed" to reiterate his name, should wait till the others are picked.

Sources told The Telegraph that the five-member collegium of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J. Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph met for over two hours on Wednesday evening. It could be held on Friday or next week, sources said.

The collegium during its last meeting on 11 May had taken an in-principle decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the apex court.

They are: Indira Banerjee of the Madras High court who is originally from the Calcutta HC; Subhash Reddy of Gujarat HC who is originally from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC; and Karnataka HC chief justice Dinesh Maheshwari who is originally from Rajasthan HC. The Centre had sent back Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration. Justice Chelameswar retires on June 22, but the Supreme Court goes on holiday from May 21 and reopens on July 2. But it is likely that the collegium may first consider six chief justices, in addition to K.M. Joseph, for filling the current vacancies in the apex court.


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