Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph on Friday requested the Centre to not delay the appointment of judges and urged it to raise the retirement age of judges in the apex court and the high courts to 70 years.
The statement comes a day after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that he is set to send by this weekend remaining of the 126 names shortlisted for appointment as high court judges to the Supreme Court collegium, as the government seeks to fill gaps in higher judiciary and meet a target of maximum number of appointments.
The SC collegium had reiterated the name of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph for appointment as apex court judge after the government asked it to reconsider its recommendation. The five-member collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said that there was “nothing adverse” regarding the suitability of Justice Joseph as has been pointed out in the letters of the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
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. With the superannuation of Justice Chelameswar last month, Justice A K Sikri, has become part of the five-member collegium, necessitating the need of a fresh reconsideration and decision to reiterate Justice Joseph’s name back to the Centre.
The Centre on April 26 had returned Joseph’s file back to the collegium for it to reconsider the recommendation on grounds including that the proposal was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was the adequate representation of his native state Kerala in the apex court.