In its meeting today, it "unanimously agreed" that that the recommendation for appointment of Justice KM Joseph as a Judge of the Supreme Court "should be reiterated".
Justice Jasti Chelameswar, the second-most senior judge in the Supreme Court, had written a letter to the CJI on Thursday, seeking the reiteration of Justice Joseph's name for elevation.
With the collegium likely to assert its authority in appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court, this is expected to result in a major confrontation with the Centre, which has expressed its reservations on Justice Joseph's appointment to the top court. There are some indications that separate files could be sent - one for Justice K M Joseph's name and the other for more judges.
On 2 May, when the collegium met to discuss the matter, it had to defer its decision due to a "lack of unanimity".
"While Justice Joseph's nomination had been cleared by the collegium on January 11, the others are yet to be approved - so they are on a different footing", a source said. It also added that there was an adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails.
Apart from Joseph, the other names that the collegium considered were Indira Banerjee, now chief justice of the Madras HC, who is originally from the Calcutta HC; Gujarat HC chief justice R. Subhash Reddy, who is originally from the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC; and Karnataka HC chief justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from the Rajasthan HC.
According to an apex court official, Justice Chelameswar, in his letter sent to the CJI, had conveyed that he was reiterating his decision favaouring elevation of Justice Joseph as the judge of the top court as there was no change in the circumstances that had led the Collegium to recommend his name to the government on January 10. Further, the Centre urged to give representation to several High Courts who did not have a fair representation in the Supreme Court.
While asking for reconsideration, the Centre argued that Justice Joseph was way too junior in the all-India seniority list of judges and that his parent HC, Kerala, was adequately represented through Justice Kurian Joseph.
The Supreme Court Collegium meeting of Friday (May 11) threw up a solution of sorts, nearly exactly as India Legal had predicted.
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