Justice Joseph’s non-elevation ‘assault’ on judiciary: Congress

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New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The Congress on Friday termed the Central government’s stalling of Uttarakhand Chief Justice K.M. Joseph’s elevation to the apex court an “assault on the judiciary”, alleging it came due to his judgment against imposition of President’s rule in the state.

It asked for the SC collegium must immediately and categorically reiterate its recommendation in his favour and if the government further delays it, “a contempt notice may be sent”.

The party also said that segregation of collegium recommendations is “a pernicious practice by this government”.

“This is the worst and for many decades the first content-based assault on the judiciary – an action depending on the content of the judgment you give,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

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“It is based clearly on the content of the judgment which a judge is obliged to write according to his conscience and as per the oath without fear or favour, without anything except his anchor and allegiance to the law,” he added.

Terming the reasons given by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad “spurious”, “fake”, and “deplorable”, Singhvi noted that even now there are more than two or more judges from the same High Court in the Supreme Court, while many other High Courts are not represented.

On the government’s reason that there are not SC/STs, he then asked then why the other judge – lawyer Indu Malhotra – was elevated.

“This is not a Congress issue or a political issue. Justice Joseph is not a Congressman. All the former Chief Justices, including Lodha, Thakur and Khare are against it. They have criticised it. This is an institutional matter. Former Delhi High Court Justice A.P Shah too,” said Singhvi, exhorting all political parties to raise the issue.

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