Ex-Maharashtra judge asks SC to order Centre to elevate justice KM Joseph

In his plea, the retired judge said the Supreme Court must direct the Centre to appoint Justice KM Joseph to the top court.

New Delhi: Retired district judge from Maharashtra's Solapur, G D Inamdar has approached the Supreme Court over the Centre's rejection of Justice KM Joseph's elevation to the top court, calling the government's move "illegal and arbitrary".

Judge GD Inamdar said the centre cannot segregate the names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium - a group of five most-senior judges - without its approval.

The government had rejected the Supreme Court collegium's recommendation to elevate Uttrakhand High Court’s Justice Kuttiyil Mathew Joseph but cleared the elevation of senior lawyer Indu Malhotra, making her the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a Supreme Court judge. She took oath last Friday.

In his plea, the retired judge said the Supreme Court must direct the Centre to appoint Justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court. The top court must also direct the Centre to act on the collegium's recommendations in a time-bound manner and not sit on it, he said.

Also Read: SC collegium defers decision on Judge KM Joseph's elevation

The reason the government had cited for rejecting Justice KM Joseph's elevation was it would increase the number of judges from the Kerala High Court to two though there were many high courts which did not have any representation in the top court's bench. Another reason cited by the government was that Justice Joseph was not among the senior high court chief justices.

The decision of elevating justice KM Joseph was deferred by the Supreme Court on Wednesday after the collegium held a meeting which lasted for around 50 minutes. Sources to NDTV said that the apex court collegium is firm on its recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph and has decided to formulate a detailed response to the government.

A decision on the appointments had been deferred, an announcement by the Supreme Court said after the meeting of the collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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