File photo of Justice KM Joseph. Photograph:( Others )
Justice KM Joseph was finally appointed to the Supreme Court Saturday, but the government notification announcing the appointment places him below the two other two judges — Justice Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran — appointed along with him.
Joseph's appointment to the Supreme Court has been long and tortuous. His name was returned by the government after the Supreme Court collegium first recommended it.
Joseph's name was only cleared by the government after the collegium sent it back. But the government notification this time — it was cleared last week — placed his name below Justices Banejee and Saran.
News reports Sunday said Supreme Court justices (it did not say how many) were upset by the move and planned to meet Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra about it.
The justices' contention was that since Joseph's name was sent first to the government, it should have been placed before the names of Justice Banerjee and Saran and not after.
The reports said the justices saw this as "clear interference" by the government in judicial matters.
The reports added the justices planned to meet Misra on Monday to lodge their protest with him.
Joseph, as chief justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, had struck down President's Rule in the state in 2016, thereby allowing the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat back into power.
The BJP government at the Centre however has consistently denied that that is why it has opposed Joseph's appointment to the Supreme Court.