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No Precedent of Govt Rejecting Collegium's Recommendation: Justice Kurian Joseph

No Precedent of Govt Rejecting Collegium's Recommendation: Justice Kurian Joseph

Justice Agrawala was recommended as chief justice of the Meghalaya High Court, and Justice Kumari as chief justice of the Manipur HC.

Joseph refused to comment on whether his name would re-recommended for the elevation to apex court judge and said that the Supreme Court collegium will take the decision.

The government had, on April 26, declined to accept the recommendation of the collegium and asked it to reconsider Justice Josephs name.

When the A-G said, "I will have to find out", the bench retorted, "This is the problem with you (Centre)". When it comes to attacking (the) judiciary, you have the data. "We want to know as to how many collegium proposals are pending with the government".

"The petitioner is aggrieved by the shocking manner in which the Central Government has unilaterally and capriciously segregated and rejected the name of Hon'ble Justice K.M. Joseph - recommended by the Collegium for appointment as a Judge of this Hon'ble Court, while at the same time accepting the recommendation for elevation of Ms. Indu Malhotra, Senior Advocate, as a Judge of this Hon'ble Court", the petition said.

The BAI, president (in the chair) Dr Lalit Bhasin said, had called a meeting of its executive committee to discuss the grave crisis confronting the country that has imperilled the rule of law. Malhotra was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on April 27. "In Meghalaya, there is only one judge against four". Naidu, who is also chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, took just two days to do it. The move would backfire on the party and also make it appear as an adversary of the judiciary, it is felt. What happened to that? People of North-East are suffering ... what are they supposed to do?

The Chief Justice presides over Supreme Court hearings and conferences, and is the administrative authority over personnel, budgetary matters and general operations of all state courts.

The Parliamentary Committee on the Judges Appointment endorsed the recommendation, ignoring criticism by some sections of lawyers' community who were of the view that being number four on the seniority list, Justice Akhtar did not deserve to be elevated to the SC.

"The collegium has to look at the future. Recommendations need to be made keeping in mind vacancies that will arise six months later", he told the judges.

Mr Venugopal stood his ground. "Recommendation is the only way to fill them up".

On the sidelines of a book release at Ernakulam Town Hall, Justice Kurian said, "The list of names sent by the collegium getting altered, cut short and later sent back has never happened before".

The bench told Venugopal that this did not give the government the liberty to sit over names sent long back.

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