The Centre on Friday ended a standoff with the judiciary by approving the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph to the top court, PTI reported. Joseph is currently the Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government’s notice also approves the recommendation to elevate Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran to the Supreme Court.
On January 10, a five-member collegium led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had recommended the names of Joseph and lawyer Indu Malhotra for elevation as Supreme Court judges. After sitting on the proposal for over three months, the law ministry notified Malhotra’s appointment on April 26, but refused to clear Joseph’s name, and asked the top court to reconsider its decision. The Law Ministry had cited inadequate representation in the Supreme Court from other states.
Joseph was part of a two-judge bench that had struck down the Centre’s decision to impose President’s rule in Uttarakhand in March 2016. Justice Jasti Chelameswar – a member of the collegium that made the recommendation in January who retired in June – wrote to Misra in May saying that the collegium must reiterate its recommendation to elevate Joseph to the top court at the earliest.
On May 16, the collegium reiterated its recommendation to elevate Joseph to the top court.
Unidentified officials told the news agency that their appointment notices will be issued on Monday. The development will take the tally of Supreme Court judges to 25, leaving six vacancies.