The Supreme Court collegium – a group of five senior-most judges – will meet on Friday to consider the reiteration of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph’s elevation to the apex court.
This would be the collegium’s second formal meeting after the Centre rejected its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph. Earlier on May 2, the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held a meeting but deferred its decision.
On January 10, the collegium had recommended the names of Justice Joseph and Indu Malhotra to be elevated to the post of the Supreme Court judge.
On April 26, Narendra Modi-led central government had notified the appointment of Malhotra as a judge but asked the Supreme Court to be “objective and fair” and reconsider its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the apex court.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Chief Justice Dipak Misra and said that Justice Joseph’s elevation was not “appropriate” as there were 11 Chief Justices of various High Courts, who were senior to him, according to the sources.
Centre’s move to block Justice Joseph’s elevation was being linked to his 2016 judgment in which he struck down Modi government’s order to impose presidential rule in Uttarakhand and allowed Harish Rawat to return to power.
With four of the five collegium members in favour Joseph’s name to be reiterated for elevation, CJI Misra would be under pressure to re-recommend Joseph’s name for the promotion to an apex court judge.