The retired judge said there were purported signs of influence with regard to ‘allocation of cases to different benches, when Misra would select judges who were perceived to be politically biased.’
Former Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph, who retired last week, alleged that he and the three other senior most judges had held the much-talked-about press conference in January because they believed that outside forces were controlling then Chief Justice Dipak Misra. In an interview with the Times of India, Joseph said, “There were several instances of external influences on the working of the Supreme Court relating to allocation of cases to benches headed by select judges and appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.”
Kurian Joseph was part of the January 12 press conference in which the present Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M B Lokur and former judge J Chelameswar had raised serious issues including the roster system (allocation of cases in the top court). On November 30, a day after he retired, Justice Joseph held an informal interaction with mediapersons at his official residence where he said he didn’t regret the unprecedented presser and that after the issues were raised, things have started changing at the apex court and have become more transparent.
Justice Joseph, as quoted in the TOI report, also added: “Someone from outside was controlling the chief justice of India, that is what we felt. So we met him, asked him, wrote to him to maintain independence and majesty of the Supreme Court. When all attempts failed, we decided to hold a press conference.”
While confirming that it was Justice Chelameswar’s idea to hold the press conference, but in agreement with all the other judges agreed, Justice Joseph told TOI that there were purported signs of influence with regard to “allocation of cases to different benches, when Misra would select judges who were perceived to be politically biased”.
Clarifying his position on why a full court meeting was not convened and press conference was called, Justice Joseph earlier said, “No judge can convene a full court meeting on its own. Only the chief justice can convene a full court meeting. It was for the CJI to convene a full court meeting. There were many such requests made in this regard.”
Of late, Joseph has been in the news for solving family feud cases with a smiling face and gentle but firm words. A few months ago, he resolved a feud between a mother and her three daughters fighting for control over business — by asking them to sit together and talk. “When was the last time mother and daughters sat together and talked? We suggest you do it now.”
Courtesy: The New Indian Express
December 6, 2018 at 9:21 pm
The statement indicates flaws in the present system that are a danger to the judicial processes