Not avenging Justice Joseph's Uttarakhand order: Law Minister

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Some political parties and individuals are constantly "scrutinising and commenting" on collegium meetings and trying to influence its decision making process, whereas the judiciary and its functioning should not be politicised, the BJP today said.

It also considered the names of judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court.

On January 10, the Collegium had recommended the names of Justice KM Joseph and Justice Indu Malhotra for elevation to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Collegium on Wednesday deferred a decision on the issue of reconsidering its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph as the judge of the apex court which was sent back by the government last week. It said that it was "not fair" on 41 judges who were ahead of him on the all-India seniority list of high court judges; that Justice Joseph's elevation would "further distort the regional imbalance" in the apex court; and advised that the Collegium may consider appointing a Dalit judge as the top did not have any at this point.

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Sources in the top court told ThePrint that the collegium was not unanimous in its view and hence the meeting was deferred to have more deliberations. The Centre, through a letter sent to the chief justice by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, said many High Courts did not have any representation in the Supreme Court.

However, CJI Dipak Misra dismissed the petitions, saying that the Centre was well within its right to reject the Collegium's recommendation for Justice Joseph's elevation to the apex court.

The members of the collegium including Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph had expressed concern over the delay of the government in clearing the name of the Uttarakhand Chief Justice as the apex court judge. One good way to force the hands of the Centre would be to ensure that no other names are recommended before Joseph's appointment is done. It also said judges from marginalised communities had not been appointed to the Supreme Court "for long".

Malhotra was sworn in as the judge of the apex court on April 27. The government had on April 26 declined to accept the recommendation of the Collegium and asked it to reconsider Justice Josephs name.

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