New Delhi: The Central Government has cleared the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium to elevate Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, K M Joseph, for the appointment of a judge of the apex court. In addition to this, the government has also appointed Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Indira Banerjee and Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court Vineet Sharan to the apex court.
The three judges can take oath in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Actually, the government had accepted the recommendation of the Collegium sent for the second time to appoint Justice Joseph. After the appointment of these three new judges, the number of judges will be 25 in the Supreme Court. The judiciary and the government were struggling for the past seven months to promote Justice Joseph to the Supreme Court. Joseph’s promotion became a question of prestige between the two.
The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended Joseph’s name for the first time on January 10 but after the government had kept pending the recommendation for four months, the name of Joseph was sent back to the collegium for reconsideration.
The government had questioned the seniority of Justice Joseph after sending back the recommendation. It also said that Justice Joseph originally comes from the Kerala High Court and Kerala already has adequate representation in the Supreme Court. It added that there are many other states from where there is no representation in the apex court. After this, there was a sharp reaction from the judiciary.
Retd. Justice J Chelameswar had written a letter to the Chief Justice and had asked that the recommendation is sent again. Apart from this, the other member of the Collegium, Justice Kurien Joseph, had also asked about the recommendation.
After this, the Collegium had again recommended the name of Justice Joseph, bypassing the Government’s objections on July 20. The Collegium had said it had sent the recommendation after deeply mulling over the objections raised in the letters of the Government on April 26 and April 30.