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Collegium Reiterates Justice KM Joseph's Name for Elevation to SC, Says Nothing Wrong With Suitability

The Centre on April 26 had returned Joseph's file back to the Collegium for it to re-consider the recommendation on grounds that the proposal was not in accordance with the top court's parameters and there was adequate representation of his native state Kerala in the apex court.

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Updated:July 21, 2018, 8:48 AM IST
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Collegium Reiterates Justice KM Joseph's Name for Elevation to SC, Says Nothing Wrong With Suitability
A file photo of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court K M Joseph. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium on Wednesday reiterated the name of Uttarakhand High Court judge KM Joseph for elevation to the Supreme Court, saying there was nothing unsuitable in his candidature.

The names of Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee and Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Vineet Saran have also been recommended for elevation as SC judges.

The Collegium, which is formed of the top five judges of the apex court, had in May agreed to reiterate the name of Justice Joseph but had yet to formally approve it. The decision was further delayed by the retirement of Justice Chelameswar, thus necessitating the need to freshly reconsider the decision to reiterate Justice Joseph's name back to the Centre.

The Collegium said it had "carefully considered" the observations made by law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, but "nothing adverse pointed on Joseph's suitability".

The resolution of the Collegium meeting held on July 16 and uploaded on Friday said: "We have carefully considered the observations made by the Law Minister in his letters dated April 26, 2018 and April 30, 2018 addressed to the Chief Justice of India referring back, for reconsideration, the recommendation made by us on 10th January, 2018 for appointment of Mr. Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, as Judge of the Supreme Court."

"The Collegium, on due consideration of all the aspects mentioned in the aforesaid two letters, resolves to reiterate the aforementioned recommendation, especially since nothing adverse regarding suitability of Justice K M Joseph has been pointed out in the aforesaid letters," it added.

The Centre on April 26 had returned Joseph's file back to the Collegium for it to re-consider the recommendation on grounds that the proposal was not in accordance with the top court's parameters and there was adequate representation of his native state Kerala in the apex court.

The government had also questioned Justice Joseph's seniority among high court judges while returning the file.

Subsequently, the apex court Collegium met thrice on May 2, 11 and 16 and could not send its recommendation back to the Centre despite agreeing on it in principle.

Notably, Justice Chelameswar and Justice Kurian Joseph later also wrote separate letters to the CJI and other apex court judges highlighting various issues including the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court.

In a meeting held on May 16, the collegium was unanimously in favour of "further deliberation" and "broad-based consideration" of names of chief justices and judges of various high courts before sending its decision of reiterating the elevation of Justice Joseph.

It had then adopted a resolution which also stated that there was a need for further discussion on the issue of sending the other names of judges to the Centre.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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