SC Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph's elevation again

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No date has been fixed for the next date of meeting which could be held only in July when court re-opens after summer vacation.

The Supreme Court collegium, comprising five senior-most judges, on Wednesday asserted its authority in the judicial appointments by reiterating its recommendation to the Centre to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph to the top court, rejecting its suggestion to consider the case of others senior to him.

It would be interesting to note that Justice Jasti Chelameswar will henceforth not be part of the Collegium and the decision will be taken either by the truncated Collegium or with the inclusion of another member from the bench, the next senior-most.

Four other additional judges were also recommended by the Rajasthan High Court Collegium to be made permanent. Highly-placed sources said at the almost two-hour meeting, though there was consensus and unanimity to reiterate Justice Joseph's elevation, there was no consensus in respect of other names, viz the Chief Justices of Madras, Gujarat, Karnataka and few other high courts.

The collegium had then once earlier this month deferred its decision on the issue. However, Justice Gogoi, who will succeed Justice Misra on October 3 as CJI, and Justice Lokur had agreed with CJI Misra that when there were seven vacancies in the SC, it would be incongruous for the collegium to send only one name to the government.

After a three-month hiatus, the government cleared Indu Malhotra's name while returning Justice Joseph's file to the collegium even though both names were sent together.

The collegium meeting was scheduled to discuss in detail the High Court probables for the Supreme Court.

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