Newly appointed Supreme Court judge Justice KM Joseph on Tuesday said that at 60 years of age he feels “like a baby again” as he is the most junior judge in the top court, reported PTI. “At the age of 60-plus, I have become a baby again as I am the 25th judge of Supreme Court,” he said at a felicitation ceremony organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Joseph’s elevation to the Supreme Court was marred by controversies. The Supreme Court collegium recommended his name in January, but the Centre returned his file on the premise that he was junior to several other High Court chief justices waiting to be promoted to the court. Later, the appointment notification placed Joseph in third position despite the fact that he was the first of the three to be recommended for elevation.

Joseph said he was aware of his limitations. “I am rather conscious of my own limitations to be elevated to the highest court,” PTI quoted him as saying. “It is indeed a big honour.” He promised to remain true to his oath of office.

Apart from Joseph, the Supreme Court Bar Association felicitated Justices Indu Malhotra, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran. “It is a great occasion when young and old assemble,” said Chief Justice Dipak Misra. “I remember the day I was elevated, I was called to the library by the SCBA and offered tea. But now judges are being felicitated in a big way.”

Indu Malhotra, the first woman lawyer in Supreme Court to be directly elevated to a judge in the court, called it an emotional moment. “I spent 35 years in this court,” she said, according to NDTV. “I express my gratitude to the collegium for the opportunity. I am happy that there are three woman judges in the Supreme Court now.”

Indira Banerjee said being elevated to the Supreme Court “makes a big difference”. Vineet Saran, on the other hand, said he would do his “best not to disappoint all of you”.