Reconsider proposal to elevate Justice KM Joseph, Centre tells SC

New Delhi: After its decision to put on hold the elevation of Justice KM Joseph as a Supreme Court judge, the Centre on Thursday asked the apex court’s collegium to reconsider its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph, sources said.
The Centre’s move to hold the elevation of Justice KM Joseph and clear the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court has invited resentment from the Oppositon Congress and the legal fraternity. They believe the government is interfering in judicial appointments.
The Centre has put on hold the elevation of Justice KM Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court.
The government feels that while recommending the name of Justice Joseph, the collegium has disregarded seniority and regional representation.
Joseph is 42nd in the seniority list of 669 high court judges.
On January 22, the apex court collegium’s file recommending the elevation of Justice Joseph and Indu Malhotra was sent to the Law Ministry.
Sources said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will now write to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra explaining why it decided to appoint only Indu Malhotra.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram demanded to know why the government was holding up KM Joseph’s appointment. He asked if the reason was his state, his religion or his judgement in the Uttarakhand case.
In a landmark judgement in 2016, Joseph had quashed President rule and revived the Harish Rawat-led Congress government in Uttarakhand.
“As the law stands now, the recommendation of the SC collegium is final and binding in the appointment of judges.