The Supreme Court collegium has recommended Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph, and senior lawyer Indu Malhotra for appointment as Supreme Court judges.
In 2016, Justice Joseph had set aside President’s rule in the hill state.
According to sources, the collegium, a committee comprising Supreme Court’s senior-most judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, has taken a decision to recommend these two names against the existing six vacancies.
First Woman Lawyer To Be Directly Appointed
If the recommendation is cleared by the government, then Indu Malhotra would become the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed to the top court. She has specialised in arbitration
In 2007, Malhotra became the only second woman lawyer to be appointed as senior advocate by the Supreme Court, nearly three decades after Justice Leila Seth was similarly designated.
Currently, only one of the apex court’s 25 judges is a woman, Justice R Banumathi, who was appointed to the top court in August 2014 .
Justice Banumathi was only the sixth woman to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge, with Justice Fathima Beevi being the first in 1989.
Centre Has Previously Not Cleared Justice Joseph’s Transfer
Previously, Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph has been recommended by the collegium to be transferred to the joint high court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in Hyderabad, just a month after he had delivered his verdict in 2016 which allowed Harish Rawat to return to power.
The government however did not clear the transfer, and the high court at Hyderabad is yet to have a full-time Chief Justice.
Under current norms, the recommendations for the appointment, transfer and elevation of high court and Supreme Court judges is sent to the government for clearance.
The government can typically return the file once, but normally agrees to the recommendation if the collegium reiterates its choice.
The Modi government has in the past few occasions returned the recommendations despite it being reiterated by the collegium.