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Former Maharashtra District Judge Files PIL for Elevating Justice KM Joseph to SC

The PIL, filed by GD Inamdar, has also sought action against the Centre for “unilaterally” segregating the names sent by the Collegium for appointments in the court.

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Updated:May 4, 2018, 9:48 AM IST
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Former Maharashtra District Judge Files PIL for Elevating Justice KM Joseph to SC
File photo of Supreme Court.
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New Delhi: A former district judge from Maharashtra has moved the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to the central government for immediately appointing Justice KM Joseph as a judge in the apex court.

The PIL, filed by GD Inamdar, has also sought action against the Centre for “unilaterally” segregating the names sent by the Collegium for appointments in the court.

Ten days ago, the central government segregated two names sent by the Collegium. It cleared senior lawyer Indu Malhotra as a SC judge but returned Justice Joseph's name with objections over his seniority. Malhotra was sworn last week.

Citing this episode, the petition, filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, has called this a direct infringement on the primacy and independence of the judiciary.

“Under the garb of reconsideration the central government effectively seeks to veto the decision of the Collegium and de facto prevent the names of those whom it considers inconvenient or worse still, whom it seeks to punish for daring to pass independent judgments, which may not be palatable to the central government,” stated the petition.

Inamdar maintained the main reason for the non-approval apparently is that Justice Joseph, as the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, set aside a Presidential Proclamation dismissing the state government, which judgment caused acute political embarrassment to the Centre.

It also contended that the government could not have decided on its own to segregate the names.

“It is not permissible to segregate. It is not permissible to pick and choose. And such a course of action is a direct attack on the independence of judiciary. It is not permissible for the central govt. to sit as an appellate authority over the wisdom of the recommendations made by the Collegium," said the plea.

The petition added that the manner in which the Centre has been indefinitely delaying judicial appointments, it amounts to “gross interference with the independence and integrity of the judiciary ultimately resulting in subverting the justice delivery system envisaged in the Constitution. This would result in the destruction of Indian democracy.”
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