Battle for seniority in SC continues

CJI assures senior SC judges to discuss the issue with Centre

New Delhi: The oath-taking ceremony of three judges elevated to the SC Justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran and KM Joseph will take place as scheduled on Tuesday in the order of seniority notified by the Centre.

The sources said except Justice Ranjan Gogoi, a member of the apex court collegium who was on leave, others had “informally” deliberated on the Centre’s alleged decision to lower down the seniority of Justice KM Joseph. However, it was decided that the oath-taking ceremony should take place. Justices MB Lokur, Kurian Joseph and AK Sikri met CJI Dipak Misra.

The judges were of the view that there was a need to sit together and ponder over the issue. The CJI assured the judges that he would consult Justice Gogoi who is the senior most after him and take up the issue with the Centre.

What’s the issue?

  • The Centre came out with the notification on the appointment of the 3 judges to the SC by putting at number 3 the seniority of Justice Joseph.
  • In the notification, the names of Justice Banerjee, CJ of the Madras HC, was at number one, followed by that of Justice Saran, CJ of the Orissa HC.
  • It is the convention that seniority of the judges is determined in accordance with the order of names notified by the government.
  • Justice Joseph’s elevation to the apex court put an end to a protracted stand-off between the government and the judiciary.
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