New Delhi: A day after he retired as Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kurian Joseph on Friday said that he disapproved of the Centre for interfering in the appointment of High Court judges, pointing out specifically the delayed appointment of Justice KM Joseph. Also Read - Hathras Case: Supreme Court Directs Allahabad HC to Monitor 'All Aspects' of CBI Probe
While talking to the media at his residence today, Joseph said that he had never felt political pressure, adding that “in the matter of appointment, the manner in which appointments are being delayed and the appointments have been selectively delayed, the appointments have been withheld. All this are in a way interference”, a news portal noted. Also Read - Hathras Gangrape Case: Supreme Court to Pronounce Verdict on Two Key Matters Today
Talking about the January 12 press conference which had evoked controversy, Joseph said that he had no other way but to raise concern regarding the functioning of the top court, adding, he till date does not regret about going public with the matter. Notably, Justice Joseph was part of the January 12 press conference in which now Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Lokur and former judge Justice J Chelameswar had raised serious questions over various issues including allocation of cases in the top court. Also Read - Will Bring New Legislation to Tackle Air Pollution in Delhi-NCR, Centre Tells Supreme Court
When asked if he regretted the decision, Joseph said, “What a strange question you are asking. I never regretted whatever I did, I did it very consciously for a cause and for a cause for which there was no other way left. That was the stage, when we did it.”
Furthermore, the former Supreme Court judge said, “There is no corruption in the Supreme Court. It has never ever occurred to me. I have never heard about it.” He favoured setting up of an administrative committee to assist the office of Chief Justice of India in effectively handling the affairs of the top court.
Talking to media persons on his birthday, Justice Joseph was asked whether there existed corruption in the judiciary, to which he said, “I do not agree with the general observation that there is corruption in the society but I do concede that there is some perception among the people regarding corruption” at some lower levels. He said that as far as corruption in the Supreme Court is concerned, “I wholly refuse to say there is corruption. It has never ever occurred to me. I have never heard about it”.
Justice Joseph said that he along with three top court judges, who were part of January 12 press conference wanted to have an administrative committee, which would have guided the Chief Justice of India in carrying out his duties. He said the majority of the judges who come to Supreme Court have been judges in high courts.
“As far as the administration of justice in the high court is concerned, there is something called administrative committee which looks after the administration of justice in the high court. You don’t find such committee in the Supreme Court which could help the Chief Justice of India in administration of justice, advising him and guiding him,” he said.
It must be noted that Justice Kurian Joseph, the third senior-most judge of the Supreme Court on Thursday received a farewell from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) as he retired as the SC judge.
Outlining India’s diversity, Kurian in his farewell termed constitution as the common thread binding all and said, “The diversity of the country should be kept in mind while interpreting the Constitution. The silence of lawmen will do more harm to the society than the violence of others. India is a land of diversity. The Constitution is the common thread that binds us all together as Indians.”
His farewell was attended by senior judges and top lawyers, including Attorney General KK Venugopal who appreciated the retiring judge for his decision of not accepting any post after retirement.
(With inputs from agencies)