SC Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph's elevation again


The Supreme Court Collegium, which met again yesterday to decide on the recommendations to the government on the promotion of come high court judges to the Supreme Court remained inconclusive.

On Wednesday, there was a detailed discussion in the collegium but sources said no unanimity was reached on names that could be recommended for appointment as SC judges. The meeting, attended by all five members of the Collegium, lasted almost two hours and was longest any Collegium meeting has lasted this year.

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The Supreme Court Collegium, which met on Wednesday to discuss the elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K.M. Joseph to the apex court, has deferred its decision, sources said. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad denies that the centre's decision had anything to do with the Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice's 2016 verdict cancelling President's rule in the state.

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 proposal pertaining to other Additional Judges whose current term would be expiring much later will be taken up for consideration at appropriate stage. The collegium meeting, which forwarded its recommendations, was chaired by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and attended by all the four other judges - Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph. The apex court is now functioning with just 25 judges, six below its sanctioned strength. This was the collegium's third meeting since the Centre returned the file of Justice Joseph. The material considered includes the report of a two-Judge committee constituted to assess the judgments passed by Justice Jhala and the other recommended judges. Justice Chelameswar retires on June 22, but the Supreme Court goes on holiday from May 21 and reopens on July 2. However, the Supreme Court Collegium has chose to defer consideration of their names for now.