New Delhi, Aug 5: Three High Court judges were on Saturday appointed to the Supreme Court, including K.M. Joseph, the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court. While it looked like the appointments would end the standoff between the Centre and the judiciary, the appointment of Justice Joseph as the juniormost judge of the apex court has invited the wrath of the SC judges. Also Read - Delhi-NCR Pollution News: SC Appoints Ex-judge Madan Lokur as One-man Panel to Monitor Stubble Burning
Several judges of the Supreme Court accused the government of interfering and altering the seniority of Justice KM Joesph. The judges, according to a report, are planning to meet the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and lodge a complaint against the Centre. “It is a blatant interference by the Govt,” one of the judges told a leading news channel. Also Read - 'Wife Entitled to Stay at Her in-Laws' House': Supreme Court Revises Rules Under Domestic Violence Act
“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. Also Read - 'Common Man's Diwali in Your Hands': Supreme Court Tells Centre to Enforce Interest Waiver on Loans by Nov 2
The top court collegium had reiterated its January 10 recommendation saying it had noted that there was nothing adverse regarding suitability of Justice Joseph in the two communications sent by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while returning the recommendation for reconsideration.
Recommending Justice Joseph’s elevation to the top court, the collegium said, “The collegium considers that at present Justice K.M. Joseph, who hails from Kerala High Court and is currently functioning as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, 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 government had however sent the files back and asked the Centre to reconsider Justice Joseph’s name. The Central government had said that he 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.
With IANS inputs