The impasse between the Centre and the Supreme Court might finally come to an end, with reports indicating that the Centre has finally accepted the collegium’s recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court, along with the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran.
The Supreme Court had made the recommendations on July 16, re-recommending Justice Joseph whose candidature was rejected by the Centre in April this year, noting that it would “not be fair and justified to other more senior, suitable and deserving Chief Justices and senior Puisne Judges of various High Courts.”
This was despite the fact that while recommending him in January, the resolution signed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph had stated that they found Justice K.M. Joseph to be “more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior Puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India.”
The resolution had, in fact, specifically mentioned that the decision was being taken after considering the combined seniority of Chief Justices and senior Puisne Judges of High Courts, apart from their merit and integrity.
Several jurists, former Judges and Advocates had then stepped forth, calling out the Centre for the move, and demanding reiteration of the recommendation by the Collegium. The Collegium had, however, deferred the decision to re-recommend him thrice since then, while agreeing in principle to reiterate his candidature.
Having recommended Justice Banerjee and Justice Saran along with Justice Joseph, sources were now quoted as saying that the Centre believes that the court appears to have appreciated its viewpoint on seniority and regional representation.