Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Not avenging Justice Joseph's U'khand order, says Prasad

Not avenging Justice Joseph's U'khand order, says Prasad Not avenging Justice Joseph's U'khand order, says Prasad
Isabel Fisher | 03 May, 2018, 15:54

Contrary to speculations, sources confirmed to TNIE that though the agenda was to examine the government's response to Justice Joseph's elevation, during the brief meeting they agreed to discuss it at length early next week when the collegium will meet again.

The Centre, while returning the file of Justice Joseph to the collegium, had also mentioned that judges from various high courts have not found place in the apex court.

Justice Chelameswar, who had not attended the court today, came for the collegium meeting.

The statement said that the decision was "deferred" and did not give the next date of the meeting of the collegium.

It also considered the names of judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court.

The members of the Collegium, including Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph had expressed concern over the delay in clearing the name of the Uttarakhand Chief Justice as the Supreme Court judge.

It should be noted that Justice Joseph had headed the bench that had quashed the Narendra Modi government's decision to impose President's rule in 2016 when the Congress was in power in the hill state. Prasad noted that a Bharatiya Janata Party government was elected with a three-fourths majority previous year.


Taking the example of Justice Khehar, who had set aside the National Judicial Commission initiative, Prasad said that he too became Chief Justice of India during BJP-led NDA government.

The government decision to send back Justice Joseph's recommendation for reconsideration was met with sharp criticism by the former Chief Justices of the top court and others.

Indu Malhotra was sworn in as judge of the top court on April 27. One of the reasons cited was that his parent High Court of Kerala already had a representation in Justice Kurian Joseph, while many high courts had no representation in the Supreme Court.

Last week, the Centre had refused to accept the decision of the collegium to elevate Justice Joseph.

However, the Central government had said that he stood at number 42 in the seniority of High Court judges and there are 11 Chief Justices of different High Courts who are senior to him - a clear suggestion that his elevation to the Supreme Court would be at their expense.

He was appointed a permanent judge of the Kerala High Court on October 14, 2004, and assumed charge of the Uttarakhand High Court on July 31, 2014. In fact, a senior advocate had even filed a petition seeking stay on the oath of Justice Malhotra till Justice Joseph's name was reiterated.

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