However, this alteration of seniority does not affect Justice Joseph’s tenure in the Supreme Court or his entry into the collegium. He would rise in the apex court hierarchy to preside over court number three before retiring on June 16, 2023. Both Justices Banerjee and Saran would retire in 2022.
The sources said they were aware that Justices Banerjee and Saran were senior to Justice Joseph in the all-India High Court judges’ seniority list. However, they said, merit and not seniority alone is considered by the collegium while recommending a judge for appointment to the Supreme Court.
This is the second time that Justice Joseph’s seniority has been adversely affected.
The first time was when his name was originally recommended by the collegium to the Supreme Court along with Indu Malhotra, then a senior advocate, on January 10 this year. As serving Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, Justice Joseph ranked senior to Ms. Malhotra, who was selected directly from the Bar.
But the government returned Justice Joseph’s file and appointed Ms. Malhotra as Supreme Court judge in April.
Justice Joseph, as Uttarakhand Chief Justice, authored the judgment which quashed President’s rule in the State and restored the Congress government.
Source: Read Full Article