However, the said reiteration should also be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of Chief Justices of High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, for which detailed discussion is required.
A divided fivemember collegium led by CJI Dipak Misra put up a united face on Friday and agreed in principle to reiterate its recommendation to appoint Uttarakhand high court Chief Justice K M Joseph as a Supreme Court judge, but decided not to communicate the decision to the government immediately. Justice Chelameswar had on Wednesday written to the Chief Justice asking him to convene a meeting of the collegium to urgently forward Justice Joseph's name to the Centre.
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He said that he was ready and prepared to take up the challenge of governance in the state if given the mandate. Out of the total of number of votes, as announced by leader of PDP electoral committee, Gov.
The decision to convene Friday's meeting was taken late Thursday evening by the Chief Justice Misra.
As first reported by ThePrint, at that meeting, while the CJI pushed for names of senior judges from the high courts of Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court, the other four judges were in agreement that Joseph's name must first be reiterated before discussing fair regional representation from other high courts. His name, along with veteran SC advocate Indira Malhotra, was earlier recommended by the Collegium for elevation as top court judges.
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These include: Justice Joseph is at No. 42 in the All India High Court Judges' Seniority List; his parent High Court of Kerala has "adequate representation in the Supreme Court"; several High Courts are "not represented in the Supreme Court at present"; and, "there is no representation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in the Supreme Court since long". Justice Joseph hails from Kochi in Kerala. It had previously met on May 2 but deferred its decision on the matter. The collegium consisted of a group of five most-senior judges. It also questioned his seniority for elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court. After sitting on the names for more than three months, the government cleared Malhotra's name last month and returned Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration. During his tenure as chief judge, the court undertook a number of measures to improve accessibility to the court and the effectiveness of court procedures.
Justice Chelameswar, who retires on June 22, was also understood to have responded to all the points raised in the communication to the CJI by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressing reservations on the elevation of Justice Joseph.
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After the visit to the temples, Prime Minister Modi is expected to engage with political leaders of various parties. He will attend the civic reception hosted by the mayor of Kathmandu and then depart for India on Saturday evening.