Former Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph slams Ranjan Gogoi nomination

Common man’s confidence will be shaken, says J Kurian Joseph

Updated - December 03, 2021 06:46 am IST

Published - March 17, 2020 09:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Justice Kurian Joseph. File

Justice Kurian Joseph. File

Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Kurian Joseph, said the acceptance of his nomination as member of Rajya Sabh a by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has shaken the common man’s confidence in the independence of the judiciary.

Also read | An assault on Constitution, says Congress

Justice Gogoi was one among the four judges, along with Justices (all retired) J.S. Chelameswar, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian, who held an unprecedented press conference on January 12, 2018 to warn the nation about the perceived encroachments by the government into the highest judicial institution, the Supreme Court. The four judges had cautioned the nation at the press meet that certain sensitive and political cases were being assigned to select Benches of the Supreme Court by successive Chief Justices. The press conference was held when the Judge Loya death case was pending the apex court.

“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 Kurian said on Tuesday.

Justice Lokur had also reacted sharply to the nomination of Justice Gogoi.

Also read | Rescind Justice Gogoi’s nomination: CPI(M)

Justice Gogoi’s nomination comes less than six months since his retirement in November 2019. As CJI, he had led the Constitution Bench which ruled in favour of the Hindu side on the ownership of the disputed land in the Ayodhya title appeals.

Justice Kurian said public faith in an independent judiciary would crumble the moment there is a perception that a section of the judges are biased or looking forward.

“I came out in public (on January 12) in an unprecedented move along with Justice Chelameswar, Justice Gogoi and Justice Lokur to tell the nation that there was a threat to this foundation. Now, I feel the threat is at large,” Justice Kurian said.

“This was also the reason why I decided not to take up any posts after retirement. According to me, the acceptance of nomination as member of Rajya Sabha by a former Chief Justice of India has certainly shaken the confidence of the common man on the independence of judiciary, which is part of the Basic Structure of the Constitution,” he said.

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