By Prarthana Mitra
The government on Friday cleared three crucial appointments to the Supreme Court, each historic in their own way. As Justices Vineet Saran and KM Joseph received the final nod from the law ministry, the country’s top court also got its third woman judge with Indira Banerjee.
Centre Notifies Appointment Of Justices KM Joseph, Indira Banerjee And Vineet Saran As SC Judges
Read more at: https://t.co/OR2PD5yuqA#SupremeCourt #KMJoseph #Indirabanerjee #VineetSaran pic.twitter.com/DkrPcqqsGL
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 4, 2018
The 60-year old who became the eighth woman ever to be elevated to the Supreme Court, has served as the chief justice of the Madras High Court for less than a year. Along with Odisha High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph, Banerjee is now poised to join the hallowed bench of Supreme Court Justices, the most powerful figures in the country’s judiciary. Currently, it comprises only two other women, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Indu Malhotra.
She was elevated along with Justice KM Joseph and Justice Vineet Saranhttps://t.co/0WAd1cxjd2
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) August 4, 2018
Like Justice Malhotra, Banerjee too began her career as a lawyer after graduating from Kolkata’s Presidency College. In 2002, she became a high court judge and was appointed as the chief justice of the Madras High Court only last year.
Unlike Banerjee who was recommended by the Supreme Court collegium only a fortnight back, Justice KM Joseph’s journey was fraught with several deferments. His name, first proposed by the top court’s panel of five most-senior judges in January culminated in a cold back-and-forth between the court and the law ministry. It was only after the collegium sent back his name a second time, reiterating its choice, that Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad decided to process Justice KM Joseph’s appointment, said some sources close to the development. Rules have it that the centre has no choice but to accept a name recommended twice by the Supreme Court collegium.
The opposition has alleged that the centre’s reluctance and delay in appointing Joseph stemmed from personal ire rather than procedural causes. Joseph had been key in cancelling the President’s rule in Uttarakhand in 2016, which had then helped the Congress remain in power. However, the government felt that Justice Joseph’s elevation would increase the number of judges from the Kerala High Court to two, at a time when many high courts didn’t have a single judge in the top court.
Central Govt relents, accepts reiteration by the #SupremeCourt #Collegium to appoint Justice KM Joseph as a judge in the apex court. Govt notifies elevation of Justice Joseph along with Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran as judges in the #SupremeCourt. @News18Courtroom pic.twitter.com/lhCMnw2xbe
— Utkarsh Anand (@utkarsh_aanand) August 3, 2018
Also joining the Supreme Court is Justice Vineet Saran who had started out as lawyer in Allahabad High Court in 1980. Before the latest conferment, Saran has also as a law officer for the Uttar Pradesh government, before being elevated to the bench in 2002. His latest stint had been at the Odisha high court as chief justice since 2016.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius
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