Indu Malhotra set to become SC judge

Indu Malhotra set to become SC judge

The Centre has cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as Supreme Court judge.

After keeping suspense on recommendations made by the Collegium for about four months, the Centre has approved the name of Malhotra, making her the first woman to be appointed as the top court judge directly from the bar.

Sources said she may take oath on Friday.

However, the Collegium’s another recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph has been put on hold.

On January 22, the Supreme Court Collegium’s file recommending the elevation of Justice Joseph and Malhotra reached the Law Ministry.

After processing the file in February, the recommendations were kept in abeyance as the government wanted to elevate only Malhotra.

The government feels that while recommending the name of Justice Joseph, the Collegium has disregarded seniority and regional representation.

He is 42nd in the seniority list of 669 high court judges.
If the government goes ahead with “segregation” of the recommendations --- proceeding with one and keeping on hold the other, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad may write to CJI Dipak Misra about its intention.

There is a feeling within the government that the issue cannot be prolonged and a final decision has to be taken.

Earlier, legal experts had cautioned the government against accepting one of the recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium while keeping the other one on hold, pointing that a Chief Justice of India had told the Law Ministry not to “segregate” names sent for appointment together.

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