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A number of Supreme Court lawyers urged the top court to put on hold Malhotra's appointment and direct the government to clear Joseph's name - a request that was rejected by a bench led by the chief justice Misra.

A decision in this regard was taken following a meeting of all the five member-judges of the SC Collegium, including Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, this afternoon. Though Justice Chelameswar did not attend court on Wednesday, he made it to the meeting that took place after the benches finished their judicial work at 4pm.

An official said since other names were also on the agenda of the meeting, modalities were to be worked out as to whether Justice Josephs name will be sent to the government along with the others.


The short resolution published on the Supreme Court website did not assign any reason for why the decision was deferred. The Centre segregated both names, declined the recommendation of Justice Joseph and sought reconsideration by the Collegium while clearing the decks for appointment of Malhotra, who was since sworn in as the Judge of the apex court on April 27. Though members of the bar welcomed the government's decision to appoint Justice Indu Malhotra, they were upset that Justice Joseph's name had not featured as well.

Four of the five collegium members were also for the first time informed on Wednesday of a letter written by law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to the CJI on April 30 wherein he reiterated the government position that the principle of seniority must be followed in the elevation of judges to the top court.

The government had said that the proposal for his name was not in accordance with the top courts parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails.


As chief justice of Uttarakhand high court he had stuck down the move of central government to impose president rule in the state.

The present government had, at that time, hived-off Senior Counsel Gopal Subramanium's name, though his name had been recommended by the collegium as well. "There was no question of anyone agreeing or disagreeing on any particular name as no names were discusssed", said a senior source. He was appointed a permanent judge of the Kerala High Court on October 14, 2004 and assumed charge of the Uttarakhand High Court on July 31, 2014.

This is because clubbing these two in a single resolution could given the Centre the option of perpetually sitting on Joseph's appointment while asking the President to issue warrants to others who are recommended by the collegium.


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