Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph, whose elevation became a new tussle point between the Centre and the Judiciary, on Sunday broke his silence over the issue and termed Narendra Modi government’s decision “unprecedented”.
“Never has been it happened like this that the names sent by the collegium are edited and resent,” ANI quoted Justice Joseph as saying.
The Supreme Court collegium – a group of five senior most judges – headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had recommended the names of Malhotra and Justice Joseph.
On April 25, the Centre had approved senior advocate Indu Malhotra’s elevation but put Justice Joseph’s name on hold.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked the Supreme Court collegium to be “objective and fair” and reconsider its recommendation of elevating Joseph.
In 2016, Joseph had struck down Centre’s order to impose President’s rule in Uttarakhand and allowed Harish Rawat-led Congress government to return to power
Joseph refused to comment on whether his name would re-recommended for the elevation to apex court judge and said that the Supreme Court collegium will take the decision.
“The meeting is going to be convened. It is not right for me to say anything before the meeting is convened,” he added.
However, if the collegium decides to re-send Joseph’s name for elevation, it would become incumbent for the Centre to approve his name.
In that case, Centre can only delay the elevation but won’t be able to stop it.