The Supreme Court on Thursday published on its website the collegium’s recommendations to the Centre to appoint Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph and Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra as judges of the top court.
The collegium considers that, at present, Justice KM Joseph, who is currently the chief justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, is “more deserving and suitable in all respects than other chief justices and senior judges of High Courts for being appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of India,” it said in its recommendation.
“We have also considered the names of eminent members of the Bar,” the collegium added. “In our considered opinion, at present, Indu Malhotra, senior advocate, is eminently suitable for being appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court.”
The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended Joseph and Malhotra’s names on January 10. However, it had not made the names public till now. Malhotra’s appointment will make her the first woman lawyer to be recommended directly for Supreme Court judgeship.
The move comes amid various source-based reports over the last few days that the Centre has rejected these names. On Wednesday, The New Indian Express had reported that Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had forwarded the names to the Law Ministry on January 22. However, the ministry sent the recommendations back to Misra without forwarding them to President Ram Nath Kovind, the daily said, citing sources.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court also made public the names it recommended for appointment to the chief justice position in 10 high courts. The recommendations were made for Delhi, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Calcutta, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Manipur high courts.
The collegium recommended Justice Aniruddha Bose for appointment as the chief justice of the Delhi High Court. Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice TB Radhakrishnan has been recommended for transfer to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court. The most senior judge in the Allahabad High Court, Justice Tarun Agrawala, has been recommended for appointment as chief justice to the Meghalaya High Court. The current chief justice of Meghalaya’s top court, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, should become the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, the collegium has said.