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The decision about Chattisgarh Chief Justice K M Joseph has already been taken in the last meeting- that his name will be re-recommended - but no decision was possible on the other judges and the Collegium said that this would take time.

Sources said the collegium met to deliberate on several issues, including reconsidering the name of Justice Joseph for elevation to the apex court, after it was returned by the Central government.

The Collegium - also comprising Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph - had unanimously recommended Justice Joseph as apex court judge in a resolution on January 10.

Which means that even the recommendation of Justice Joseph's name gets delayed in the process.

The collegium meeting was scheduled to discuss in detail the High Court probables for the Supreme Court.

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When the collegium finally formalises its reiteration of Justice Joseph and sends the file back to the government, the latter would be bound by the collegium's decision.

Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad had rejected this allegation and had explained that the Centre was opposing Justice Joseph's elevation because Kerala HC, to which he originally belongs, is already well represented in the apex court and that there were other judges who deserved promotion first due to their seniority.

On October 15 in 2015, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court struck down the NDA governments National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), Act, that was envisaged to replace the controversial 24-year-old collegium system of judges appointing judges.

But, the government, while sending back Justice Joseph's recommendation for reconsideration, had invoked the principle of seniority, saying that Justice Joseph stood at number 42 of the seniority of the high court judges and there were 11 Chief Justices of various high courts senior to him - a clear suggestion that any elevation of Justice Joseph to top court would be at their expense. On Wednesday, there was a detailed discussion in the collegium but sources said no unanimity was reached on names that could be recommended for appointment as SC judges.


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