Govt asks SC collegium to reconsider recommendation on Justice K.M Joseph

The government on Thursday returned to the Supreme Court collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice K.M Joseph to the apex court and asked it to reconsider it, a move which may widen rift between the judiciary and the executive.

This comes a day after the government cleared the appointment of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge of the Supreme Court and kept in abeyance a decision on Justice Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court.

Both the names were recommended by the collegium in January

In a ruling in 2016, Justice Joseph had cancelled President's rule in the northern state of Uttarakhand and brought back the Congress government of Harish Rawat to power.

The judgement was seen as major set back to the BJP-ruled government at the Centre.

The government's decision of not approving Justice Joseph's name has evoked sharp reactions with the Supreme Court Bar Association President terming it as "disturbing".

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra requesting the collegium, a group of five senior-most judges that selects judges for the apex court, to reconsider its decision on recommending Justice Joseph to be a judge of the top court.