SC judges meet CJI over Justice Joseph’s seniority

Judges of the Supreme Court on Monday met Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and lodged their protest over the Centre's decision to lower down the seniority of Justice K M Joseph, who is scheduled to take oath as apex court judge along with two others on

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra is learnt to have assured two senior Supreme Court judges that he would take up with the Union government the issue of seniority of Justice K M Joseph.

On Monday, Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, who are part of the Collegium, expressed their unhappiness on the decision to keep Justice Joseph below Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran in the order of seniority. All the three judges are set to assume charge as Supreme Court judges on Tuesday.

During the morning tea, the two senior judges Justices Lokur and Kurian Joseph met the CJI and conveyed their feelings. CJI Misra is understood to have told them that he would discuss the issue with Attorney General and other senior judges, including Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Justice Gogoi was on leave.

In the notification issued on Friday with regard to the appointment of three judges to the Supreme Court, Justice K M Joseph was placed at number three. Justice Banerjee, chief justice of the Madras High Court, was at number one followed by that of Justice Saran, chief justice of the Orissa High Court.

It is the convention that seniority of the judges is determined in accordance with the order of names notified by the government.

The warrants of appointment of the three judges were signed by the President on August 3.

On July 20, the Supreme Court Collegium reiterated its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph and rejected the government’s request for reconsideration of his name. Justice Joseph, chief justice of Uttarakhand, was first recommended for elevation on January 10 but the government had in April sought reconsideration on his name saying the Collegium disregarded inter-seniority of judges.

Justice Joseph became a high court judge on October 14, 2004 and he was elevated as a chief justice of the high court on July 31, 2014.

He will retire on June 16, 2023 as an apex court judge.

Similarly, Justice Banerjee became a high court judge on February 5, 2002 and was made a chief justice of the high court on April 5, 2017. She would retire on September 23, 2022.

Justice Saran became a high court judge on February 14, 2002 and was made a chief justice of the high court on February 26, 2016. He will retire as an apex court judge on May 10, 2022.

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SC judges meet CJI over Justice Joseph’s seniority

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