SC Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph's elevation 

SC Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph's elevation 

Justice Joseph's name was recommended along with the senior advocate Indu Malhotra on January 10 for their elevation as apex court judges. PTI File photo

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Wednesday failed to arrive at any decision on elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph as the top court judge.

The Collegium, also comprising four senior most judges, deferred its decision on the government’s letter sent on April 26 for reconsideration on the recommendation made in January on the name of Joseph. It is learnt that the Collegium discussed other names for elevation as well.

The Union government, after taking approval from the Prime Minister and the President, had asked the Collegium to reconsider its proposal to appoint Justice Joseph as SC judge. It had, however, cleared the name of Indu Malhotra, who assumed the office as the first woman judge directly elevated from the bar on April 27.

On Wednesday, the CJI and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur met in the evening on the court premises. Justice Chelameswar, who did not attend court, also participated in the Collegium meeting.

A one-para resolution released thereafter stated that the Collegium met with agenda “to reconsider the case of Justice Joseph,” following the letter received from the Law Ministry on April 26 but the decision was “deferred”. The note had approval of CJI Misra and the other four judges.

It also cited another letter received from the Law Ministry by the Collegium on April 30 suggesting for considering 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”.

Sources said the Collegium discussed the names of Karnataka HC chief judge Dinesh Maheshwari, Madras High Court chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Gujarat High Court chief justice R Subhash Reddy for elevation to address the Centre’s concerns.