The Government today returned the collegium’s recommendation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court, to be elevated to the Supreme Court. Indu Malhotra has been appointed as a lawyer in the Supreme court. Their names had been recommended early, on January 10 2018. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote a letter to the Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which stated, “this proposal for reconsideration of the case of Shri Justice K M Joseph has the approval of the Hon’ble President and the Hon’ble Prime Minister at this stage does not appear to be appropriate. Prasad also included many reasons for the snub, saying that Joseph was ranked 42 on the All India High Court’s seniority list, there are many High Courts that are not represented in the Supreme court, and there is a lack of ST/SC tribe in the apex court for a long time.
A collegium meeting is going to be scheduled in the matter of return of a recommendation by the government. The letter also explained that it is important that regional representation is maintained, and seniority shouldn’t always be considered to be the only factor when making the decision about the elevation to the apex court.
There have been some reports that the government had to take a long time in considering the recommendation, and weren’t too keep to elevate Joseph to the apex court, since he had in 2016, disregarded the imposition rule by the president. On the other hand, Indu Malhotra became the first woman to be elevated from the Bar to the apex court position.