Centre clears Supreme Court Collegium’s move to elevate Justice KM Joseph
The months-long stalemate between the government and the judiciary was likely to end after the Centre reportedly agreed to the Supreme Court Collegium's decision to reiterate the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court.
Along with Joseph, the Narendra Modi government in the Centre has also given its go-ahead to the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran to the apex court.
With this, the protracted public standoff between the Centre and the judiciary over the appointment of judges to the apex court was likely to come to an end.
On January 10, 2018, the Supreme Court collegium - a group of five senior-most judges of the apex court - had recommended names of Justice KM Joseph and senior lawyer Indu Malhotra for the elevation to Supreme Court.
The Narendra Modi government, however, on April 26 had approved the appointment of senior advocate Malhotra as a Supreme Court judge but put on hold its decision on Justice Joseph.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a letter to Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had asked the Collegium to reconsider its recommendation of Justice Joseph’s elevation citing his standing in the seniority level.
The Collegium had then reiterated Joseph’s name for the promotion which made it incumbent for the Centre to consider his name for the elevation.
The government’s move to block the promotion of Joseph was being linked with his 2016 verdict that struck down Centre’s order to impose President’s rule in Uttarakhand and allowed Harish Rawat-led Congress government to return to power.