NEW DELHI: A day after demitting office as Supreme Court judge, Justice Kurian Joseph said that he did not regret going public with Justices
, J Chelameswar and Madan B. Lokur against the work of the then CJI
, saying that they were left with no concern
Talking to media at his residence, Joseph said that Judges had made many requests “to the then CJI to hold the full court meeting of SC judges to discuss the issue and they had to take the unprecedented step to hold a press conference on January 12 after their request was not accepted. He, however, clarified that the conference was not against any individual but to raise the concern on systemic crisis in the administrative work of the apex court, some of which are still to addressed.
“I do not regret It was not available I can not say that crisis is over It was an institutional crisis and it would take time to deal with all the problems. It is happening and the process of change will continue. Even before CJI came out with changes, “he said. The former judge said that his complaint was not just pertaining to allotment of cases by CJI to different judges but about some “unhealthy practice” in the court.
“Roster was the only one of the issues. There should be some system for holding consultation and that practice should be followed. It is not good that an individual takes all the decisions. There should be some consultations with judges and it is happening now. There is transparency now, “he said.
Responding on tug-of-war between the apex court and the Center on the finalization of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary, Justice Joseph, who retired as number three judge in SC and was part of the collegium, said that he was not aware about the differences between the executive and judiciary on the issue. I talked to the CJI and I was told that MoP is final and collegium is taking decision as per the draft MoP but the Center says that it has not been finalized.
Joseph, who is known for his charming smile and considered to be one of the most popular judges of SC, also brushed aside the allegation of government interference in the Supreme Court. He said that he had never faced any political pressure and interference in his duty as judge. “It has never happened and will never happen in judicial functioning of the Supreme Court. But government delay appointment of some judges in the apex court, which in a way amounts to interference, “he said.