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Justice K N Joseph Elevation : Congress Hopes Collegium Would Reiterate Its Decision

File Picture Courtesy : Hindustan Times
File Picture Courtesy : Hindustan Times

The Congress hoped the Supreme Court Collegium would soon reiterate its decision to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice K M Joseph to the apex court and that the recent deferment was only temporary, even as the BJP said the functioning of the judiciary should not be politicised.

The CPI, however, alleged that there was “something going on” over the deferment of the Collegium’s decision and it all shows that the crisis is not over and has instead deepened.

The Collegium on Wednesday deferred a decision on the issue of reconsidering its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph as the judge of the apex court, after it was sent back by the government last week.

“Hope this deferment is only temporary and the collegium will soon reiterate its earlier recommendation,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said.

BJP leader Nalin Kohli, however, alleged that some political parties and individuals are constantly “scrutinising and commenting” on the collegium meetings and are trying to influence its decision-making process.

“Our approach is that the entire process and functioning of the judiciary and issues related to it should not be politicised or motives constantly alluded to it. It is unfortunate that some political parties and individuals are persisting to do,” Kohli said.

CPI leader D Raja said, “We do not have a national judicial commission. It all shows that crisis is not over. It is deepening in a way. Why the collegium has postponed. We know that the government had earlier objected to Justice Joseph’s name.

“Nobody knows what is happening. There is no transparency. The government had earlier objected to Justice Joseph’s elevation. There is something going on between the government and the judiciary,” he said.

Kohli, also an advocate in the apex court, said every judge who makes it to the Supreme Court is an institution by himself or herself and collectively they make the institution eminent.

“The constant approach of some political parties and individuals to scrutinise and comment on the meetings and functioning of the collegium and the apex court, in some way or the other, may also be seen as an attempt to influence its decision making, which it is fully capable of doing without these comments,” the BJP spokesperson said.

The five-member Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph met after the top court’s working hours, but no decision was taken.

Besides Justice Joseph, the agenda of the Collegium was to deliberate on the names of some judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh high courts for elevation as apex court judges.

The government had said that the proposal for his name was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails.

His seniority was also questioned by the Centre.

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