Ending a protracted stand-off with the judiciary, the government on Friday appointed Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India with effect from the date he assumes charge of office.
Justice Joseph's name was recommended for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court by the collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on January 10.
On April 30, the government had returned the recommendation for reconsideration on the grounds that he lacked seniority.
The executive had also pointed out that several high courts remain unrepresented and Justice Joseph's elevation would be against the principle of regional representation. His parent high court is the Kerala HC.
Justice Joseph had struck down the imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand in 2016 after the dismissal of a Congress government led by Harish Rawat.
An earlier recommendation of the collegium to transfer Justice Joseph to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court on health grounds was kept pending by the government for a long time
The collegium on May 16 in-principle reiterated the decision to recommend Justice Joseph's name. But the recommendation was sent to the government in July.
The government has also given its nod to appoint Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief Justice Vineet Saran to the SC, the sources said. They also said that the files were cleared in two batches on Wednesday and Thursday.
The sources said their warrants of appointment are likely to be issued by Monday.
The number of judges in the top court after the appointments would go up to 25. There would still be six vacancies.