The appointment of four judges, apart from Justice KM Joseph, have been stalled from being elevated to the Supreme Court. Three of these judges are from minority communities – Basharat Ali Khan, Mohd. Nizamuddin, and Mohammad Mansoor. The fourth judge is Harnaresh Singh Gill. This shows a disturbing trend by the BJP government that is often blamed for marginalizing minorities.
Chief Justice of Uttarakhand KM Joesph evoked ire from the BJP when it overturned the government’s imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in March 2016 and reinstated Harish Rawat’s Congress government. The Centre, when given Justice KM Joseph’s name, rejected his candidature claimng it was ‘inappropriate’ and that a more senior justice be recommended instead.
As far as the other four are concerned, their names were submitted two years ago along with many others. The other candidates have been either accepted or rejected but the names of these four have been on hold for the last two years. The government has not given any reason for this indecision.
An official from the Supreme Court said, “We checked with the government and were told that a final decision is still to be taken on the name. But it is strange that the government is sitting on the file for such a long time. There was nothing adverse against him in the intelligence report too.”
Questioning the Centre’s decision of not elevating KM Joseph, P Chidambaram said, “In case of Justice Joseph, at the moment, the blame lies with the judiciary. Because, you decide to reiterate (the recommendation for his elevation) but then don’t. There is a fear that candidates are being profiled. Because of that, they don’t offer themselves (for judges’ posts).”