New Delhi: The government today returned to the Supreme Court collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph to the apex court and asked it to reconsider it, a move which may widen rift between the judiciary and the executive.
This comes a day after the government cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court and kept in abeyance a decision on Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court. Both the names were recommended by the collegium in January.
In a ruling in 2016, Justice Joseph had cancelled President’s rule in Uttarakhand and brought back the Congress government of Harish Rawat to power. The judgement was seen as major set back to the BJP-ruled government at the Centre. The government’s decision of not approving Joseph’s name has evoked sharp reactions with the Supreme Court Bar Association President terming it as “disturbing”.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra this morning requesting the collegium, a group of five senior-most judges that selects judges for the apex court, to reconsider its decision on recommending Justice Joseph to be a judge of the top court.
Prasad also informed the CJI that senior advocate Malhotra has today been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.