SC Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph's elevation again

SC Collegium Again Defers Decision to Re-Recommend Justice KM Joseph

At the May 11 meeting of the collegium, comprising CJI Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, it was unanimously chose to reiterate the proposal to elevate Justice K M Joseph.

This was the Collegium's second meeting in five days.

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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended that additional judge of the Rajasthan High Court, Justice RS Jhala, be made a permanent judge of the High Court. On Wednesday, there was a detailed discussion in the collegium but sources said no unanimity was reached on names that could be recommended for appointment as SC judges. It would now wait for the other list to come up and is expected to recommend Justice Joseph's name too.

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.

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Under the memorandum of procedure on appointment of Judges which is existing now, once the proposal is returned for reconsideration, and if the collegium reiterates the appointment, the government is bound to accept the same but there is no time limit on such appointment.

At its last meeting on May 11, the Collegium had agreed in principle to reiterate its recommendation for elevating Justice Joseph as a judge of the apex court, nearly three weeks after it was returned by the Centre. Justice Malhotra is already functioning as a Supreme Court judge. But it has chose to do so only while recommending - presumably on May 16 - the elevation of other chief justices of high courts, who may be in the zone of consideration, for appointment as Supreme court judges. 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.

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