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The Justice K M Joseph seniority row explained

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    New Delhi, Aug 6: Several judges of the Supreme Court, including members of the collegium, are apparently upset over the Centre's decision to lower down the seniority of Justice K M Joseph, whose name has been notified, along with those of two other judges, for elevation to the Supreme Court.

    Justice K M Joseph

    Highly placed sources in the SC said the judges, including some members of the collegium, will meet Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra tomorrow to express dissatisfaction over the Centre's decision to put Justice Joseph's name in serial number 3 in the notification.

    Sources said a demand would be made to the CJI to take a corrective measure before the oath-taking ceremony in the Supreme Court, which is likely to take place on Tuesday.
    Some members of the Supreme Court Bar Association said they will also make a representation on the issue.

    The Centre on Friday came out with the notification for the appointment of the three judges, including Justice Joseph, to the SC.

    There was a tussle between the five-member collegium headed by the CJI and the Centre over the elevation of Justice Joseph to the SC.

    Justice Joseph, the chief justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, had headed a bench, which had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the state in 2016. Uttarakhand was then under the Congress rule.

    The collegium had, on January 10, recommended the name of Justice Joseph, along with that of senior advocate Indu Malhotra, for elevation to the Supreme Court.

    However, the government had returned Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration and gone ahead with the appointment of Justice Malhotra.

    The August 4 appointment notification has placed Justice Joseph after Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Vineet Saran.

    The warrants of appointment of the three judges were signed by the President on August 3.

    According to the collegium's January 10 resolution, when Justice Joseph's name was recommended for elevation, "He stands at Sl. No.45 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on the all-India basis."

    Justice Joseph's elevation to the SC put an end to a protracted stand-off between the government and the judiciary.

    The number of judges in the top court after the fresh appointments has gone up to 25. There are still six vacancies.

    The collegium had, on May 16, in-principle reiterated the decision to recommend Justice Joseph's name for elevation to the SC. The recommendation was sent to the government in July and it was accepted.

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