Sources told The Telegraph that the five-member collegium of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J. Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph met for over two hours on Wednesday evening. During the May 11 meeting of the collegium, sources said Justices Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph had pitched strongly for reiteration of Justice K M Joseph's name and insisted on sending his name alone to the government for quick elevation to the SC. The Centre had sent back Justice Joseph's name for reconsideration.
The collegium intends to send Justice Joseph's name along with other names being considered for Supreme Court judgeships.
The meeting failed to reiterate Justice K M Joseph's name despite having pre-arranged to meet to do precisely that last week, apart from suggesting other names for the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court collegium on Wednesday once again deferred its decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph to the top court, as it could not decide on names of other judges for elevation to the apex court.
There are now seven vacancies in the Supreme Court, with two more vacancies likely to arise in the next two months, due to the retirement of Justices J. Chelameswar on June 22, and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on July 6. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad denies that the centre's decision had anything to do with the Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice's 2016 verdict cancelling President's rule in the state. The date of the next Collegium meeting too has not been fixed. In its letter asking the Collegium to reconsider the elevation of Justice K M Joseph, the Government had cited over-representation of Kerala, lack of SC/ST judges and his lack of requisite seniority.
After a three-month hiatus, the government cleared Indu Malhotra's name while returning Justice Joseph's file to the collegium even though both names were sent together.
The collegium during its last meeting on May 11 had taken an in-principle decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the top court. Earlier, the government did not materialise the collegium decision to transfer Justice Joseph as Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court.