Collegium meeting on KM Joseph, other judges remains inconclusive

Collegium meeting on KM Joseph, other judges remains inconclusive

Sources said it was considering sending Justice Joseph's name, along with other names being considered for Supreme Court judgeships. The collegium had earlier chose to consider other names from various high courts for appointment as SC judges and had deferred the deliberations to May 16.

He had also written to CJI Khehar, protesting how coffeetable meetings were being passed off as collegium meetings by him brushing aside norms. 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.

It was being pointed out that by posing himself as the sole defender of the principle of transparency within the collegium, he has always unwittingly portrayed its other four members as being against transparency.

They are: Indira Banerjee of the Madras High court who is originally from the Calcutta HC; Subhash Reddy of Gujarat HC who is originally from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC; and Karnataka HC chief justice Dinesh Maheshwari who is originally from Rajasthan HC.

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Sources said the collegium met to deliberate on several issues, including reconsidering the name of Justice Joseph for elevation to the apex court, after it was returned by the Central government. 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 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.

There are now seven vacancies in the Supreme Court, with two more vacancies likely to arise in the next two months, due to the retirement of Justices J. Chelameswar on June 22, and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on July 6.

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