Justice Chelameswar writes letter to CJI on Justice KM Joseph elevation…

10 May, 2018, 11:26 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Justice Munib Akhtar takes oath as SC judge

Justice Chelameswar is the senior-most judge in the apex court.

Four of the five most senior judges of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had an informal meeting on Wednesday afternoon and discussed finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) and the reiteration of the Collegium's recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph as an apex court judge. He spoke at length in an interview with Karan Thapar, where he said Misra's impeachment isn't a solution to the ongoing crisis; the need is to fix the system.

Meanwhile, the retiring judge, on his last day in office, customarily sits with the CJI in the Chief Justice's Court.

Just-Ice Chelameswar's letter, say resources, is really a rebuttal of those details that regulation Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has made while advocating that the judges to reconsider the promotion of Justice Joseph - that the primary prosecution of the Uttarakhand highcourt - to the Supreme Court.

Justice J Chelameswar was on leave and was not present at the meeting.

Justice Mishra also expressed displeasure that the Supreme Court Bar Association was silent on the issue.


However, 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 - a clear suggestion that his elevation to the Supreme Court would be at their expense. This order overruled Justice Chelameswar's decision. He was the sole judge who ruled in favour of the National Judicial Appointments Commission legislation, terming the collegium system for lack of transparency. The four had also raised questions on Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra's decision to allocate sensitive cases to junior judges.

"Many things which are less than desirable have happened" in the SC recently, they claimed.

The collegium had on January 12 recommended justice KM Joseph and senior advocate Indu Malhotra as judges to the Supreme Court.

While this can be seen as a departure from tradition, this is not new with Justice Chelameswar.

If the collegium sends back a name, the Centre has no choice but to accept it.

He was part of the two-judge bench that delivered the historic judgement striking down section 66 (A) of the IT Act.

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