New Delhi : The new Supreme Court collegium is meeting next week, probably on Thursday, to recommend names of six High Court chief justices, including Uttarakhand’s Justice KM Joseph, for elevation to the Supreme Court having nine vacancies.
Indications are that it will send the name of Justice Joseph separately that was returned by the Centre early this year for reconsideration as clubbing it with other judges will amount to fresh recommendation that the Centre can return once. Practice is that the Centre has to accept any name pushed by the collegium second time.
The previous collegium had agreed in principle to reiterate appointment of Justice Joseph to the Apex Court, but it will require re-affirmation by the new collegium having two news judges since retirement of Justices Chelameswar and Adarsh Kumar Goel. Justices Kurian Joseph and Arjan Kumar Sikri have replaced them in the 5-judge collegium headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur are its two other members.
Since the Centre had stressed that some seniors have been left out while recommending Justice Joseph, the previous collegium decided to send names of the judges of other states not represented in the Apex Court.
Five High Court Chief Justices likely to be recommended separately for elevation to the Supreme Court next week are: Madras High’s Indira Banerjee whose parent High Court is Calcutta, Odisha High Court”s Vinit Saran who is originally from Uttar Pradesh, and one judge each from Gujarat, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh High Courts which are not represented by any judge at present.
Some other names in the reckoning are Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice Hemant Gupta, whose parent High Court is Punjab and Haryana, to fill the slot vacated last week by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, whose parent High Court was also Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajob, whose parent High Court is Delhi, as also Telangana and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy to fill Justice Chelameswar”s slot.
These judges as well as Indira Banerjee rank senior to Justice Joseph in terms of all-India seniority as per the date of initial appointment as a High Court judge and this factor was cited by the Centre while returning Joseph”s name that may weigh in the collegium”s recommendations.