The collegium had on May 2 also, held a 45-minute meeting, to reconsider the recommendation for the appointment of Justice Joseph as a SC judge, but was deferred as it remained inconclusive.
The decision to convene the meeting was taken late last evening by the CJI.
As first reported by ThePrint, at that meeting, while the CJI pushed for names of senior judges from the high courts of Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh for elevation as judges of the Supreme Court, the other four judges were in agreement that Joseph's name must first be reiterated before discussing fair regional representation from other high courts. This comes more than a fortnight after the Central Government returned the collegium's recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph while clearing the recommendation to elevate Justice Indu Malhotra.
Apart from Joseph, the other names that the collegium considered were Indira Banerjee, now chief justice of the Madras HC, who is originally from the Calcutta HC; Gujarat HC chief justice R. Subhash Reddy, who is originally from the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh HC; and Karnataka HC chief justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from the Rajasthan HC.
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Justice Chelameshwar alleged that the administration of the Supreme Court was not in order.The judges claimed to have a written a letter to justice Mishra for which they had not received a reply.
There has been speculation that Justice Jospeh's name wasn't cleared because he, in 2016, had revoked the president's rule in Uttarakhand, thus enabling the Congress to remain in power, something that did not go down well with the ruling BJP.
Reacting to the Centre's response, CJI Misra had said the government is "within its rights" to send back a name for reconsideration.
This resolution of the issue would in effect affect Justice Joseph's seniority, likely precluding his chances to be a part of the Collegium in the future or becoming Chief Justice. The Department of Justice had sent his name back, saying if there were more senior judges in waiting, why Joseph in particular? The Government followed the principle of seniority laid down by the past Supreme Court decisions on judicial appointments and found Justice Joseph to be ranked 42 on the all-India judges' seniority list. Malhotra has since been sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court.
The move was considered to be unprecedented as no erstwhile governments had refrained from accepting the recommendations sent by the Collegium.