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Impasse ends: on K.M. Joseph’s elevation

Now, a fresh memorandum of procedure for judicial appointments must be agreed upon

Good sense seems to have prevailed(प्रबल होना/जीतना) at last. The Centre has cleared the elevation(उन्नति/उठान) of Justice K.M. Joseph to the Supreme Court, seven months after the five-member collegium(अधिशासी समिति) first recommended his appointment. The Centre had no option but to elevate the Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice once the collegium reiterated its original recommendation after the Law Ministry returned his name. The collegium had combined(संयुक्त/मिश्रित) its reiteration(पुनरावृत्ति/दोहराना) of his name with two other names so that three Chief Justices could be elevated in one go. The Centre’s objections to Justice Joseph’s candidature(उम्मीदवारी/अभ्यर्थिता) were unconvincing(दुविधा में पड़ा हुआ/हिचकिचानेवाला)from the very beginning. It made an issue of his relative(सापेक्ष/आपेक्षिक) lack of seniority among the Chief Justices of the various high courts, adding somewhat curiously(दिलचस्प/कौतूहलपूर्वक) that his elevation would give excessive(अत्यधिक ) representation(प्रतिनिधित्व/निरूपण) to Kerala. It also spoke of an imbalance(असंतुलन/समतुलित करना) in regional representation. It was obvious(ज़ाहिर/स्पष्ट) that these were not good enough reasons to turn down his appointment. It only served to strengthen the suspicions that Justice Joseph found himself in disfavour(अनादर/असंतोष) because he was on a Bench that quashed the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in 2016, a charge the government vehemently(जोरदार)denied(अस्वीकृत). Now that his elevation is all set to go through, these issues may not appear to be relevant anymore. However, it is difficult not to see a pattern in the government’s conduct. It has been splitting (बंटवारे/गहरा)recommended lists and selectively approving proposals from the collegium, while holding back or returning some names. In the case of Justice Joseph, his name was sent along with that of senior advocate Indu Malhotra to the Centre in January. However, three months later, the government cleared only one of the two names, while seeking reconsideration(पुनर्विचार) of Justice Joseph’s candidature. Such decisions tend to alter the inter se seniority among sitting judges, a factor that determines(तय करना/निर्धारित करता है) who becomes Chief Justice of India and who joins the collegium.

The Centre’s right to seek the reconsideration(पुनर्विचार) of a recommendation(सिफ़ारिश/अनुशंसा), on the basis of information available to it, cannot be disputed(विवादग्रस्त/तकरारी) — but it is worrying that one or two names are held back from a number of batches. The reasons for seeking reconsideration need to be explicitly(स्पष्ट रूप से) stated in every such instance. Even in its adherence(अनुपालन/निष्ठा) to the norm that reiteration of a recommendation is binding, the Centre has not been consistent(संगत/तर्कयुक्त). Recently, it returned a recommendation concerning(संबंधी/विषय में) two appointments to the Allahabad High Court for the second time. The other issue is delay — there is no justification for sitting on files without taking a decision one way or another, particularly given the backlog in the Supreme Court. The current controversy may have come to a close, but the possibility of other flashpoints cannot be ruled out. If the judiciary and the government want to dispel the impression(प्रभाव/धारणा) of a prolonged(लंबा/दीर्घकालीन) conflict(संघर्ष/टकराव), a fresh memorandum(स्मृतिपत्र/ज्ञापन) of procedure for appointments has to be agreed upon: it is unclear what exactly is holding it up.


Important vocabulary

1.Prevailed(प्रबल होना/जीतना)
Synonyms: abound, beat, overcome, prove, reign
Antonyms: fail, forfeit, lose, surrender, follow

Synonyms: connected, mixed, united, joined, mingled
Antonyms: uncombined

Synonyms: altitude, ascent, mountain, acclivity, boost
Antonyms: decrease, flat, demotion, depression, disdain

Synonyms: awfully, curiously, extraordinarily, really, remarkably
Antonyms: commonly, little, normally, usually

5.Imbalance(असंतुलन/समतुलित करना) 
Synonyms:inequality, shortcoming, asymmetry, disproportion, lopsidedness

Synonyms: fiercely, profoundly, strongly, vehemently, very

Synonyms: accessible, clear, conspicuous, discernible, distinct
Antonyms: ambiguous, concealed, dark, disputable, doubtful

8.Explicitly(स्पष्ट रूप से) 
Synonyms: especially, exceptionally, notably, principally, specially
Antonyms: normally, usually, commonly, generally

Synonyms: dull, lengthened, protracted, drawn-out, lengthy
Antonyms: shortened




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