Govt Moves to Elevate Collegium Pick Indu Malhotra to SC; No Action on KM Joseph's Candidature

CNN-News18
Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph, in his letter addressed to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had recently questioned the government's intent behind sitting over the recommendations.

New Delhi: Three months on, the central government has finally acted on the Collegium's recommendation to appoint senior advocate Indu Malhotra as a judge in the Supreme Court.

Moving a step ahead, the government has forwarded Malhotra's file to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for verifying her credentials, professional competence and provide inputs on other pertinent aspects before her name can be cleared.

Sources in the Law Ministry told CNN-News18 that the file was sent to the IB earlier this week by the Union Law Ministry.

IB, apart from collecting inputs on professional competence and personal integrity, is also supposed to ascertain veracity of complaints received against the person who is being considered for appointment to the constitutional position. A report is thereafter submitted by the IB to the government.

The government has moved three months after the Supreme Court Collegium recommended Uttarakhand High Court chief justice KM Joseph and senior lawyer Indu Malhotra for appointment as judges in the top court.

Justice Joseph's file is still under consideration by the Law Ministry and there is no further movement in his case.

Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph, in his letter addressed to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had recently questioned the government's intent behind sitting over the recommendations.

In his letter dated April 9, Justice Joseph had cautioned the CJI that "dignity, honour and respect of this institution is going down day by day" because of the judiciary's inability to get judges appointed.

In February, most senior judge J Chelameswar had also criticised the government over stalling judicial appointment.

"For some time, our unhappy experience has been that the Government’s accepting our recommendations is an exception and sitting on them is the norm. Inconvenient but able judges or judges to be are being bypassed through this route,” the judge wrote to the CJI.