Collegium member 'protests' over non-elevation of Uttarakhand CJ

Collegium member 'protests' over non-elevation of Uttarakhand CJ

 After clearing five names for appointment as Supreme Court judges, the Chief Justice of India-led collegium is learnt to have received a protest note from a brother judge and member of the five-judge body for not considering Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph for elevation.

Justice J Chelameswar, who had earlier dissented in the National Judicial Appointments Commission judgement, sent a note even though he agreed to the five names.

Earlier, during the time of CJI T S Thakur, he had refused to participate in the collegium meetings over their ‘lack of transparency’.  Notably, Uttarakhand Chief Justice Joseph had dismissed rebel Congress MLAs’ plea against their disqualification for switching over to the BJP.

A request for his transfer to Andhra Pradesh High Court remained pending. Sources said a recent collegium meeting headed by CJI J S Khehar cleared elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Rajasthan Chief Justice Naveen Sinha, Kerala Chief Justice Mohan M Shantanagouder, Chhattisgarh Chief Justice Dipak Gupta and Karnataka HC judge Justice S Abdul Nazeer.

But now it is learnt that Justice Chelameswar, who is part of the collegium along with the CJI, Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan B Lokur, has sent a note questioning the exclusion of Justice Joseph.
The latest development could come as a shot in the arm for the government which had been pushing for an effective role in the selection of judges.

Though a five-judge bench had earlier quashed the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, three judges had seen a major role by the government in judges’ appointment.

The bench subsequently asked the government to finalise a fresh memorandum of procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

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