Cong slams govt for holding up Justice Joseph's elevation to SC

Cong slams govt for holding up Justice Joseph's elevation to SC

Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court Justice K M Joseph

The Congress on Thursday slammed the Centre for “holding up” the elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court.

“What is holding up Justice K M Joseph's appointment? His state or his religion or his judgement in the Uttarakhand case?” asked senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram.

He said as the law stands now, the recommendation of the Collegium was final and binding in the appointment of judges. “Is the Modi government above the law?” Chidambaram wondered.

In April 2016, Justice Joseph had struck down President's Rule imposed in Uttarakhand after nine Congress MLAs defected to the BJP.

“PM Modi’s ‘revenge politics’ qua judiciary & ‘conspiratorial suffocation’ of Supreme Court exposed again. Justice Joseph is India’s seniormost chief justice. Yet Modi government refuses to clear his elevation to SC as retribution for quashing presidential rule in Uttarakhand,” said Randeep Singh Surjewala, in-charge of AICC Communications Department.

Surjewala recalled that in June 2014, the government had refused to appoint senior counsel Gopal Subramanian as a Supreme Court judge as he was the “lawyer against Amit Shah and company” in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

“Modiji shredded parliamentary privileges & supremacy. He road-rolled independent media. Democracy’s last refuge i.e judiciary is now under most vicious attack ever. If the nation doesn’t rise in unison now, totalitarianism will stump democracy,” Surjewala said.

On January 11, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the appointment of senior lawyer Indu Malhotra and Justice Joseph as judges of the apex court.

On Wednesday, after more than three months, the government cleared the appointment of Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court – the first woman lawyer to be elevated from the Bar to the apex court.

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