'Surprised How Ex-CJI Compromised on Judiciary's Independence', Says Justice Kurian Joseph

Justice Kurian Joseph had once taken part in an unprecedented presser along with former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices J. Chelameswar, and Madan B. Lokur on the functioning of the apex court.

New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph has reacted strongly to the nomination of former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi as member of the Rajya Sabha saying that he has “compromised the noble principles” of the independence and impartiality of judiciary.

Justice Joseph, who had once taken part in an unprecedented presser along with Gogoi, Justices J. Chelameswar, Madan B. Lokur (all retired) on January 12, 2018 on the functioning of the apex court, made his stand clear on the former CJI accepting nomination to the Upper House.

“According to me, the acceptance of nomination as member of Rajya Sabha by a former CJI, has certainly shaken the confidence of the common man on the independence of judiciary, which is also one of the basic structures of the Constitution of India,” the former judge said.

Also read: Appointments After Retirement: A Tale of Two Gogoi Brothers

Recalling the statement made by Justice Gogoi in the presser, he expressed surprise as to how the ex-CJI accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination.

“‘We have discharged our debt to the nation’ was the statement made by Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with the three of us on January 12, 2018.

“I am surprised as to how Justice Ranjan Gogoi who once exhibited such courage of conviction to uphold the independence of judiciary, has compromised the noble principles on the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary,” Justice Joseph said.

Referring to the press conference, Justice Joseph said he, along with other three judges, had come out in public in an “unprecedented move”, “to tell the nation that there was a threat to this foundation and now I feel the threat is at large.”

He said that to ensure there is no threat to the nation, he had decided not to take up any posts after retirement.

Former CJI Gogoi, who headed benches that pronounced several key judgements including in the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case, was on Monday nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the government.