(G.N.S) Dt. 11
Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph, who set aside President’s rule in the hill state in 2016, and senior lawyer Indu Malhotra have been recommended for appointment as Supreme Court judges.
Sources told media that the top court’s collegium, a committee of its senior-most judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had decided on the two names against the six vacancies.
Once the government clears the recommendation. Indu Malhotra would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed to the top court. She has specialised in arbitration.
In 2007, she was only the second woman lawyer to be appointed as senior advocate by the Supreme Court, three decades after the first, Justice Leila Seth, was designated.
Of the top court’s 25 judges, only one is a woman, Justice R Banumathi. She was elevated to the top court in August 2014. Justice Banumathi was the sixth woman to become a Supreme Court judge. Justice Fathima Beevi was the first in 1989.
Just a month after he had delivered the verdict in 2016 that allowed Harish Rawat to return to power, the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph’s transfer to the joint high court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in Hyderabad.
But the government did not clear the transfer. The high court at Hyderabad still does not have a full-time Chief Justice.
As per the established procedure, the recommendations of appointment, transfer and elevation of high court and Supreme Court judges are sent to the government. The government can return the file once, but usually agrees to it if the collegium reiterates its recommendation. The Modi government has on a few occasions returned the recommendations despite being reiterated by the collegium.
(G.N.S) Dt. 11