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Once again, Supreme Court defers Joseph's reiteration decision

17 May 2018

The meeting, attended by all five members of the Collegium, lasted almost two hours and was longest any Collegium meeting has lasted this year.

The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended that additional judge of the Rajasthan High Court, Justice RS Jhala, be made a permanent judge of the High Court.

The government had objected to his appointment, saying he was too junior to become a Supreme Court judge.

The Supreme Court Collegium once again deferred the decision to reiterate Justice K M Joseph's name for elevation to the Supreme Court.

It had then adopted a resolution which stated that there was need for further discussion on the issue of sending the other names to the Centre.

The collegium intends to send Justice Joseph's name along with other names being considered for Supreme Court judgeships.

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Legal experts asked why the collegium, having "unanimously agreed" to reiterate his name, should wait till the others are picked.

Friday's meeting came in the backdrop of a letter written by Justice Chelameswar, the number two-judge of the SC, to the Chief Justice, strongly backing Justice Joseph.

Sources told The Telegraph that the five-member collegium of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J. Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph met for over two hours on Wednesday evening. This was the collegium's third meeting since the Centre returned the file of Justice Joseph. Just to skirt its logic of other High Court chief justices senior to him being left out, the Bench also recommended elevation of three of them to the Supreme Court. Five judges of the court are scheduled to retire in 2018, Justice Chelameswar as early as June 22.

The matter of the elevation of the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court was stalled last month, as Centre had refuted to clear his name, while Indu Malhotra, who was recommended in the same meeting, sworn in last month.

Justice Jhala's name has been approved after taking into consideration the material on record.

Once again, Supreme Court defers Joseph's reiteration decision