Row over Justice K M Joseph’s seniority

Though finally the Centre has resolved the dispute over election of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court Justice K M Joseph as Supreme Court judge, a new controversy is raised over his seniority. Though the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended and reiterated his name before the other two names, Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran, who were also elevated as Supreme Court judges, the government placed his name last in seniority of appointment list. 

Some judges of the apex court are said to be “anguished” and “shocked” over this lapses in seniority. Some of them have reportedly sought a meeting with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday morning to convey their anguish and disappointment. The swearing-in ceremony of the three newly appointed judges is scheduled to be held tomorrow in the CJI’s court at 10.30 am.

Irrespective of his being number one or number three on the list, Justice Joseph would not have any chance of becoming the Chief Justice of India. However, being number one on the list would put Justice Joseph in a position to head an independent bench in the Supreme Court earlier than at number three.

 

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