New Delhi, Aug 6: Upset over the Centre’s “interference” in Justice KM Joseph‘s appointment in the Supreme Court, the apex court judges have decided to meet Chief Justice Dipak Misra to protest against the order of oath taking. Being appointed as the “junior most” judge, Justice Joseph will have to take the oath after Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran. Also Read - COVID Situation May Worsen by Next Month: SC Asks 4 States to Submit Status Report Within Two Days
The recommendation for Justice Joseph’s elevation as a top court judge was made by the collegium in January which was reiterated on July 17. The collegium while recommending Justice Joseph’s name described him as one of the “most able and suitable”. The SC judges, however, accused the Centre of interfering and altering the seniority of Justice KM Joesph. Also Read - AG Venugopal Grants Consent For Contempt Proceedings Against Kunal Kamra Over His Tweet
Alleging interference in the judicial appointments by the Centre, one of the seniormost judges said that Justice Joseph was the first to be recommended by the Supreme Court collegium. His name should have been put the first but was placed at the third position, which makes him the junior of the two other judges, the judge said. “It is a blatant interference by the Govt,” one of the judges told a leading news channel. Also Read - Parliament Panel Questions Twitter On Allowing Comic Kunal Kamra's 'Offensive Tweets' Against SC In Platform
“Justice Joesph’s name was sent first and reiterated by the Collegium and his name should have been first in the appointment notification. But his name is the third, making him junior to the other two judges,” he said, adding, Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran were recommended after Justice Joseph by the collegium.
It was in January that the collegium had recommended his name to be elevated to the Supreme Court. Recommending Justice Joseph’s elevation, the collegium had said, “The collegium considers that at present Justice K.M. Joseph…is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the SC.”
The resolution signed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.
However, the government sent back the file and asked the collegium to reconsider Justice Joseph’s name for the elevation. The Central government had said that Justice stood at number 42 in the seniority of High Court judges and there are 11 Chief Justices of different High Courts who are senior to him.