Recommending Justice Joseph for elevation to top court, the collegiums had on January 10 said: "The collegium considers that at present Justice K.M. Joseph is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of the high courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court".
However, the general perception is that Justice Joseph had earned the displeasure of the Central government after a bench headed by him had ruled against the imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand. Highly-placed sources said at the almost two-hour meeting, though there was consensus and unanimity to reiterate Justice Joseph's elevation, there was no consensus in respect of other names, viz the Chief Justices of Madras, Gujarat, Karnataka and few other high courts. The date of the next Collegium meeting too has not been fixed. "However, the said reiteration should also be accompanied by the recommendation of the names of Chief Justices of High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, for which detailed discussion is required". However, Justice Gogoi, who will succeed Justice Misra on October 3 as CJI, and Justice Lokur had agreed with CJI Misra that when there were seven vacancies in the SC, it would be incongruous for the collegium to send only one name to the government. This issue may come up at the next meeting.
The previous meet had also set in motion discussions on the names of judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation, in view of the "concept of fair representation".
The Supreme Court collegium of five senior Judges, which met on Friday, agreed "in principle" that it would reiterate its previous recommendation - returned by the Centre for reconsideration - on appointing the chief justice of the Uttarakhand high court, Justice K.M.Joseph, as a judge of the apex court.
On April 26, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had announced that the government had cleared the elevation of advocate Ms Indu Malhotra and put on hold Justice Joseph's elevation. The material considered includes the report of a two-Judge committee constituted to assess the judgments passed by Justice Jhala and the other recommended judges.
There has been much debate about what is stalling the Collegium from formally reiterating his name to the Centre, despite stating they will do so "on principle" last time around. Five judges of the court are scheduled to retire in 2018 - Justice Chelameswar as early as June 22.