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In a rather surprising development, the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra and Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph for appointment as Supreme Court judges.
As first reported by The Hindu, the Collegium met yesterday and took this decision which was unanimous.
If the recommendations go through, Malhotra will be the seventh woman judge in the history of the Supreme Court. She will also be the first woman judge to be elevated directly from the Bar.
Malhotra also holds the distinction of being only the second woman lawyer to be designated Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court, the first being Justice Leila Seth.
Supreme Court has been functioning with only one woman judge for the past three years with Justice R Banumathi being the only woman judge in Supreme Court since October 29, 2014 when Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai retired from service.
The recommendation of Justice KM Joseph is even more interesting. As Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice Joseph had pronounced a judgment quashing the President’s rule imposed in the State of Uttarakhand.
More than two years ago, the Collegium had recommended the transfer of Justice Joseph from Uttarakhand High Court to the High Court of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. However, the Central government is yet to clear that file. An RTI query regarding the same was met with a response that the same is under consideration.
Read our 2014 interview with Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra here.