Govt clears elevation of Justice Joseph to SC

Govt clears elevation of Justice Joseph to SC

Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court K M Joseph. (PTI File Photo)

The Union government has cleared the recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court, ending a month-long standoff with the judiciary.

It is learnt that along with Justice Joseph, the collegium's recommendations to elevate Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran to the Supreme Court have also been approved.

The warrants on the appointment of three judges to the Supreme Court could be issued on Monday, sources said.

On July 20, the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra reiterated its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph and rejected the government's request for reconsideration of his name, saying “nothing adverse on his suitability has been pointed out”. 

The government was bound to accept the recommendation of the collegium, also comprising four senior-most judges, on reiteration.

With this, the number of judges in the Supreme Court would rise to 25 against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges, including the CJI.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in two letters on April 26 and 30 to the CJI, claimed the collegium did not give due regard to inter-se seniority of judges and regional representation in recommending elevation of Justice Joseph. The collegium's recommendation was made on January 10.

The government's decision was criticised, as it was seen in the background of Justice Joseph's judgement in 2016 that set aside the President's rule in Uttarakhand resulting into the revival of Harish Rawat-led Congress government.

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