Feel like baby again, says junior-most SC Judge K.M. Joseph

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New Delhi : Newly appointed Supreme Court Judge K.M. Joseph on Tuesday said that he "feels like a baby again" since he is the junior-most Judge of the apex court.

"At the age of 60 plus, I feel like a baby again," Justice Joseph said at a felicitation function organised for new apex court Judges by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), which was his first public appearance after taking oath as the 25th Judge of the Supreme Court.

He said: "I am far too conscious of my own limitations to be elevated to the highest court. It is indeed a great honour. It will be presumptuous on my part to even venture to make any promise. All that I can do is -- I hope and pray -- I will be true to the oath which I have taken and which will go a long way in dispensing justice."

The SCBA felicitated four new Judges -- Justices Indu Malhotra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran and Justice Joseph.

The elevation of Justice Joseph -- who was Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court -- to the apex court was mired in controversy. The Supreme Court collegium had recommended his name for elevation on January 10 but the Centre sent it back for reconsideration.

The collegium recommendation was reiterated on July 17.

When President Kovind cleared the name of Justice Banerjee, Justice Saran and Justice Joseph for elevation, Justice Joseph's name was third in seniority.

Senior Judges met Chief Justice Dipak Misra to convey their dissatisfaction over the government's decision to place Justice Joseph in the third place for the swearing-in.

They maintained that he should be senior among the three as his name was first to be recommended and was re-recommended after the government raised objections.

Government sources, however, had maintained that the seniority of Judges is on an all-India basis and not based on the Supreme Court collegium's recommendation.

In 2016, Justice Joseph had quashed President's rule in Uttarakhand when he was the High Court Chief Justice.