India

SC judges upset over lowering of Justice Joseph’s seniority 

He was placed third in the notification, making him junior to other two judges.

New Delhi: The elevation of Justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court has stirred a controversy once again, with several apex court judges expressing their displeasure with the government for tinkering with his seniority in the appointment notification, reports News 18.

The Supreme Court collegium had first recommended Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice Joseph’s name for elevation in January. However, after the government struck it down on the grounds that he lacked seniority and his elevation would lead to “over-representation” from Kerala, it was sent in July again along with the names of Madras HC Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa HC Chief Justice Vineet Saran.

Though the government cleared the appointments on Saturday, it placed Justice Joseph’s name third in the notification, making him junior to the other two judges. This is expected to hamper his chances of being elevated to the post of CJI as well as head a Supreme Court bench.

Government and judiciary

  • Justice Joseph had struck down the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in 2016 after the dismissal of a Congress government led by Harish Rawat.
  • An earlier recommendation of the collegium to transfer Justice Joseph to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana high court on health grounds was kept pending by the government for a long time.
  • The judges are expected to lodge their protest with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday.
  • His chances of being elevated to the post of CJI as well as head a Supreme Court bench is likely to be hampered.
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