SC Collegium reiterates Justice K M Joseph’s elevation to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Collegium Friday reiterated the name of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph for appointment as apex court judge. It also recommended Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Odisha High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran as Supreme Court judges.

The number of women SC judges would rise to an all-time high of three if Banerjee is appointed. The top court has never had three women judges since its inception in 1950. Justice Indu Malhotra recently became the first woman judge to be directly appointed to the top court from the Bar. R Bhanumati is the other current SC judge.

Justice Aniruddha Bose was appointed as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court and Justice Rajendra Menon, who is currently the Patna High Court Chief Justice, was appointed the Delhi High Court Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reiterate Justice K M Joseph’s name for elevation comes in the background of the controversy over the government asking the Collegium to reconsider its recommendation to elevate him to the apex court.

Appointments of judges to the top court have been stuck over the contentious elevation of Joseph. The collegium first cleared Joseph’s name for elevation in January 2018. The government sat over the recommendation for over four months and returned his file on April 26.

The Opposition has been arguing that Justice Joseph is being “punished” for giving an unfavourable verdict against the BJP in 2016 when he heard the challenge to governor’s rule in Uttarakhand that was imposed by the BJP-ruled Centre.

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