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Collegium must reiterate KM Joseph elevation: Justice Chelameswar to CJI

10 May, 2018, 11:24 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed

Justice Arun Mishra was assigned the petition concerning the death of judge BH Loya on the day Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph went public with their grievances.

Justice Chelameswar was the senior most among the four judges who held the unprecedented press meet on January 12, where they had voiced concern about the "administration of justice" and selective allocation of cases by recent Chief Justices, including Chief Justice Misra, to preferred Benches in the Supreme Court.

The Central government had said that he stood at number 42 in the seniority of High Court judges and there are 11 Chief Justices of different High Courts who are senior to him - a clear suggestion that his elevation to the Supreme Court would be at their expense. Justice Chelameswar had told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioners, to return on Tuesday at 10.30am. According to current norms, the Centre, on receiving a reiteration from the Collegium, would have no choice but to issue a Presidential warrant and swear him in as a judge of the Supreme Court. Justice Chelameswar was the lone voice against the collegium system.

Last time, in addition to Justice K M Joseph, another aspect twinned with the agenda was, "to consider the names of Judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, in view of the concept of fair representation". They want the CJI to clarify the matter to the government.




While rejecting outright the claims of Prasad, Justice Chelameswar has said that the Collegium should not back down from its recommendations.

While this can be seen as a departure from tradition, this is not new with Justice Chelameswar.

According to New18, Chelameswar has also refused to take up the role of executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), a position nearly exclusively reserved for the seniormost judge in the SC, as well as a similar position with the state legal services authority.

He was part of the two-judge bench that delivered the historic judgement striking down section 66 (A) of the IT Act.

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