DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The Supreme Court Collegium has approved the names of senior advocate Indu Malhotra and Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph for appointment as judges of the top court.
Once the appointment letter issued, Malhotra would be the first woman advocate to be directly elevated from the Bar to the Bench as a Supreme Court Judge.
Justice Joseph had set aside the controversial imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. Earlier, the Collegium had recommended his transfer from the Uttarakhand High Court to the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but his file remained pending with the government.
Source says the decision to elevate Malhotra and Justice Joseph was unanimously taken by the five-member Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Other members of the Collegium are Justice Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Chelameswar and Justice Kurian Joseph.
Currently, there are mere 25 judges in the apex court against a sanctioned strength of 31 judges. Seven judges, including CJI Misra, Justice Chelameswar, Justice Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph, retirement due in this year.
Currently, there is only one woman judge in the Supreme Court , Justice R Banumathi, the sixth woman to serve as a top court judge.
Justice M Fathima Beevi was the first woman judge of the Supreme Court in 1989, followed by Justice Sujatha Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Banumathi.
Source further says, Justice Anirudh Bose of the Kolkatta HC would be the new Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court while Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice TB Radhakrishnan has been transferred to the Andhra Pradesh HC. Justice Abhilasha Kumari of the Gujarat HC has been recommended for transfer as the new Manipur High Court Chief Justice.
The collegium also approved Kolkatta High Court’s acting Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya as Chief Justice. He would retire by September 2018. Kerala High Court acting Chief Justice Antony Dominic has also been elevated as Chief Justice.