Rejecting Justice Joseph’s elevation not linked with his Uttarakhand ruling: Law Min

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said the government’s decision of rejecting the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph to the Supreme Court in not linked with his Uttarakhand ruling, in which he had once overturned the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

“I wish to deny with all authority at my command that it has nothing to do with it (Justice Joseph’s decision) at all, for two obvious reasons. Firstly, a proper (BJP-led) government with nearly three-fourth majority has been elected in Uttarakhand. Secondly, that order was confirmed by Justice (J.S.) Khehar of the Supreme Court,” IANS quoted Prasad as saying.

“Justice Khehar was the judge who also set aside the National Judicial Commission initiative of the government. Yet he became the Chief Justice of India during the BJP-led NDA government. I think that by itself is (proof) enough,” Prasad added.

The government had on April 26 asked the Supreme Court collegium to reconsider its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph to the apex court, saying the elevation may not be “appropriate”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court Collegium deferred a decision on the issue of reconsidering its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph as a judge of the top court, after it was sent back by the government last week.

The five member Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph met after the apex court’s working hours, but no decision was taken as certain differences between the members could not be resolved.

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

Besides Justice Jospeph, the agenda of the Collegium was to deliberate on the names of some judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as apex court judges.

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