The Supreme Court Collegium Friday reiterated the name of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph for appointment as apex court judge. It also recommended Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Odisha High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran as Supreme Court judges.
The Supreme Court’s decision to reiterate Justice K M Joseph’s name for elevation comes in the background of the controversy over the government asking the Collegium to reconsider its recommendation to elevate him to the apex court.
The five-member Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said that there was “nothing adverse” regarding suitability of Justice Joseph as has been pointed out in the letters of the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The resolution of the Collegium meeting held on July 16 and uploaded today said that the two letters written by the Prasad to the CJI while returning the recommendation of Joseph was “carefully considered”. Besides the CJI, other members of the Collegium are justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri.
A reiteration by the Collegium would make it incumbent upon the government to issue a warrant for the appointment of Justice Joseph to the Supreme Court. The same Collegium under Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had unanimously recommended Justice K M Joseph’s name in January, stating that he “is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India”.
Earlier this month, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Centre was within its rights to “seek a reconsideration” of a name recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for appointment as judge and to give its inputs, adding that it was not right to say that the government was committing a “cardinal sin” by giving its views. Also Read: Recommendation for judge’s elevation: No cardinal sin to seek rethink by SC collegium, says Ravi Shankar Prasad
The minister had, however, added that the government will “continue to respectfully and gently convey our views” — and that “obviously the collegium has to take a call”.