Breaking: Reports suggest news of Government returning Collegium recommendations for new SC judges false

Refuting reports that the Law Ministry had returned the collegium recommendations for elevation of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K.M.Joseph and Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra as Supreem Court judges,  sources in the Law Ministry have reportedly said that “no move” to send back to SC collegium the two names that had been recommended for SC judges on 10th January.

Journalist Maneesh Chibber had tweeted:


Earlier, the New Indian Express had reported that the Central Government had not cleared two recent recommendations for elevation to Supreme Court judgeship of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph and senior lawyer Indu Malhotra by the Supreme Court Collegium. Read more here.

On 10th January the Collegium had recommended the two names for appointment as Apex Court Judges. However according to a report by the Indian Express, it was only on January 22 that CJI Misra formally forwarded the recommendation of the Collegium to the Union law ministry.

Justice Kuttiyil Mathew Joseph is currently the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court. Before his appointment as 9th Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand on 31 July 2014, he had served as a Judge of Kerala High Court for more than 9 years. The bench headed by Justice Joseph had quashed the imposition of President’s Rule in 2016 by the BJP government in the state of Uttarakhand. During February 2017, Justice J. Chelameswar, a judge of the then Supreme Court collegium, had recorded a strongly worded dissent note for not elevating Justice K.M. Joseph to the Supreme Court of India. Justice Joseph is an outstanding judge with impeccable integrity and the most suitable judge for elevation to the Supreme Court, Chelameswar J had written. By not elevating a highly competent judge like Justice Joseph, the collegium was setting an unhealthy precedent, he said.

Indu Malhotra is a senior counsel practising in the Supreme Court of India for the past 30 years. She was the second woman to be designated Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in 2007. In December 2016 she has been made member of the High Level Committee (HLC) in the Ministry of Law and Justice by the Government of India to review Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India. The elevation of Ms. Malhotra was a real celebrated one as she was set to become the first woman Judge to be elevated directly from the Bar. Besides, it will also be a timely addition to the Supreme Court, which has been functioning with only one woman Judge for the past three years.

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