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SC collegium defers reiteration of Justice Joseph's elevation to top court

SC collegium defers reiteration of Justice Joseph's elevation to top court

With Justice Chelameswar retiring on June 22 and Thursday being his last working day, the meeting can be held after the induction of Justice A.K. Sikri soon after the retirement of Justice Chelameswar.

According to the sources, since Justice K.M. Joseph's name had already been "in principle" reiterated at the last meeting, not much of Wednesday's discussion revolved around him.

It would be interesting to note that Justice Jasti Chelameswar will henceforth not be part of the Collegium and the decision will be taken either by the truncated Collegium or with the inclusion of another member from the bench, the next senior-most.

At its last meeting on May 11, the Collegium had agreed in principle to reiterate its recommendation for elevating Justice Joseph as a judge of the apex court, nearly three weeks after it was returned by the Centre. Both the proposals were sent on January 10 this year. But it has made a decision to do so only while recommending - presumably on May 16 - the elevation of other chief justices of high courts, who may be in the zone of consideration, for appointment as Supreme court judges.

But, as no decision could be taken on elevation of other judges to the apex court, the two-hour collegium meeting also deferred the decision for reiteration of elevation of Justice Joseph to the Supreme Court, said court sources. Ms Malhotra was sworn in as a judge of the apex court on April 27. However, Justice Gogoi, who will succeed Justice Misra on October 3 as CJI, and Justice Lokur had agreed with CJI Misra that when there were seven vacancies in the SC, it would be incongruous for the collegium to send only one name to the government.