The Supreme Court collegium has favoured “further deliberation” and “broad-based consideration” of names of Chief Justices of various high courts before sending its decision reiterating the elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph as a judge of the top court.
The resolution of the May 16 collegium meeting, uploaded on the supreme court website today, stated that there was need for deliberation on bringing the judges from the high courts, which are not represented, to the Supreme Court.
“Today (May 16), in the meeting of the Collegium, a unanimous view was expressed that there should be further deliberation and broad-based consideration of the names of the Chief Justices as well as Judges of the High Courts which are at present not represented in the Supreme Court.
“In view of the above, the meeting stands deferred to be held at the earliest,” the resolution said.
Official sources on May 16 had said that the Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four senior most judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, deliberated for more than an hour. This meeting was the second in five days.
Today was the last working day of Justice Chelameswar, who retires on June 22, as the court’s summer vacation starts tomorrow.
At its previous meeting on May 11, the Collegium had agreed in principle to reiterate its recommendation for elevating Justice Joseph as a judge of the supreme court, almost three weeks after it was returned by the Centre, but could not decide on a date.
It had then adopted a resolution which also stated that there was a need for further discussion on the issue of sending the other names of judges to the Centre.
“The Chief Justice and other members of the Collegium have, on principle, unanimously agreed that the recommendation for appointment of Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court (Parent High Court: Kerala)as a Judge of the Supreme Court should be reiterated.
“However, the said reiteration should also be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of Chief Justices of High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, for which detailed discussion is required,” the resolution of May 11 had said.
It had also decided to consider the names of other High Court Judges for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court.
Official sources said those high court judges who are in the race to be elevated to the apex court are Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, who is originally from the Calcutta HC, Gujarat HC Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, whose parent cadre is Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC, and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from Rajasthan HC.
The government had on April 26 returned the Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph seeking its reconsideration, saying the proposal was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails. It had also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the apex court.
The Collegium has recommended the name of Additional Judge Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala to be appointed as a permanent judge of the Rajasthan High Court.
“… the Collegium resolves to recommend, for the present, that Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala, Additional Judge be appointed as Permanent Judge of the Rajasthan High Court against one of the existing vacancies,” its resolution had said.