New Delhi, Apr 10: Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the four seniormost judges of the Supreme Court after Chief Justice Dipak Misra, on Monday said judiciary and media are watchdogs for democracy. These watchdogs will have no option left but to bite if they are not heard on barking, Justice Joseph added. He was interacting with students of the Kerala Media Academy who are on a study tour in the national capital.

Justice Kurian Joseph said that “both the watchdogs (judiciary and media) have to be vigilant, barking for saving democracy, barking for when the owner’s property is in danger.” “The barking is to alert the owner and if even the barking is not yielding the fruit of catching the attention of the owner and the threat continues, barking dogs will be left with no option but to bite. Such a situation is the exception to the old saying that barking dogs seldom bite,” he reportedly said.

In response to a question, Justice Joseph also said that he would not accept any post-retirement job offer from any government. His statement comes barely 48 hours after his colleague, the senior-most Judge at present in the Supreme Court, Justice Chelameswar said at an event: “I am on record saying it that after my retirement on June 22, I will not seek any appointment from any government.”

Justice Joseph was one of the judges who held an unprecedented press conference in January, mounting a virtual revolt against the Chief Justice. They warned that these problems, including allocation of cases by the Chief Justice, could damage Indian democracy. The four rebel judges — Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph – said that “things are not in order” at the Supreme Court.

The four judges did not refer to any particular matter the Chief Justice had decided in assigning benches. Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”