The Supreme Court collegium of five senior Judges, which met on Friday, agreed "in principle" that it would reiterate its previous recommendation - returned by the Centre for reconsideration - on appointing the chief justice of the Uttarakhand high court, Justice K.M.Joseph, as a judge of the apex court.
The meeting, which began at 4.15 pm lasted almost two hours, the longest any Collegium meeting has lasted this year.
This means that Justice Joseph would have to wait till the Collegium zeroes in on the names of the other probables for the SC.
The government had also flagged the issue of non-representation of SC/ST judges in the apex court. Five judges of the court are scheduled to retire in 2018 - Justice Chelameswar as early as June 22.
The collegium intends to send Justice Joseph's name along with other names being considered for Supreme Court judgeships.
Till 9 pm, the resolution of Wednesday's meeting has not been uploaded in the Supreme Court website.
Despite a "detailed discussion" on Wednesday, it is not known what happened resulting in the deferral.
No date has been fixed for the next date of meeting which could be held only in July when court re-opens after summer vacation. In the past, Collegium meetings are known to have been held during the vacation as well.
The collegium during its last meeting on May 11 had taken an in-principle decision to reiterate its recommendation for the elevation of Justice Joseph to the top court.
Since there was no unanimity on certain other names discussed for elevation to the Supreme Court, a formal decision on sending the fresh suggestions along with that of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph had been "deferred". Indu Malhotra, the first woman member of the Bar to make it directly to the Supreme Court, was sworn in last month. While returning the name of Justice Joseph, the government cleared Justice Malhotra's appointment.
However, the general perception is that Justice Joseph had earned the displeasure of the Central government after a bench headed by him had ruled against the imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand. The Law Minister has denied that his elevation is being resisted because of this.
In doing so, it has expressed its concurrence with a unanimous recommendation made in this regard by the Rajasthan High Court Collegium, as well as the state government.
Jurists and former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court have dismissed these reasons arguing for his elevation as the litmus test for judicial independence.