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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended Justices KM Joseph, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran – Chief Justices of the High Courts of Uttarakhand, Madras and Orissa respectively – for elevation to the Supreme Court.
In a significant development, the five senior most judges of the Supreme Court has once again reiterated its recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph, after the Central government refused to accept the same earlier this year. The resolution passed pursuant to the July 16 meeting states,
“The Collegium, on due consideration of all the aspects mentioned in the aforesaid two letters, resolves to reiterate the afore-mentioned recommendation, especially since nothing adverse regarding suitability of Mr. Justice K.M. Joseph has been pointed out in the aforesaid letters.”
After it met on May 16 this year, the Collegium had decided to defer its reiteration of recommending the elevation of Joseph J. The body had resolved to undertake further deliberation and broad-based consideration of other Chief Justices of high courts for elevation to the Apex Court.
In its earlier meeting on May 11, the Collegium had revealed its unanimous agreement on the reiteration of Justice Joseph’s name for elevation to the Supreme Court.
The Collegium had first recommended the name of Justice KM Joseph for elevation to Supreme Court along with the name of Justice Indu Malhotra, on January 10 this year. After more than three months, the Centre cleared the file of Malhotra J and notified her appointment to the Supreme Court on April 26.
However, it refused to clear Justice Joseph’s file, sending it back to the Collegium with a 6-page explanatory note on why it did not want him to be elevated to Supreme Court. This had led to a huge outcry, with many in the legal fraternity alleging that the Centre did so because of a judgment rendered by Justice Joseph, by which he struck down the President rule in the State of Uttarakhand.
Justices Banerjee and Saran figure high on the seniority list of Chief Justices of high courts, having both been appointed as high court judges in February 2002. Justice Banerjee’s potential appointment will take the number of woman judges in the Supreme Court to three.
Should the Centre accept the Collegium’s recommendations, the strength of the Supreme Court will go up to 25, with 6 vacancies.
Justice Indira Banerjee was appointed as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court on February 5, 2002 and was transferred to the Delhi High Court on August 8, 2016. She was elevated as Chief Justice of the Madras High Court on April 5, 2017.
Justice Vineet Saran was appointed as a judge of the Allahabad High Court on February 14, 2002 and was transferred to Karnataka High Court on February 16, 2015. He was elevated as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on February 26, 2016.
Read the resolution reiterating KM Joseph J’s elevation:
Read the resolution recommending Banerjee, Saran JJ for elevation: