Retired Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph has made a stunning revelation alleging that the former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was being controlled from outside and was allocating cases to judges with political bias. He said that the unprecedented press conference in January this year by him and three other judges was necessitated by that feeling of biases.
In January this year, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B Lokur had held an extraordinary press conference to raise serious questions on the functioning of the highest court.
Speaking about the reason leading to the press conference, Justice (retd) Joseph told Times of India, “There were several instances of external influences on the working of the Supreme Court relating to allocation of cases to benches headed by select judges and appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.
“Someone from outside was controlling the CJI, that is what we felt. So we met him, asked him, wrote to him to maintain independence and majesty of the Supreme Court. When all attempts failed, we decided to hold a press conference.”
Elaborating on what he meant by the ‘external influence’ Justice Joseph said, “Starkly perceptible signs of influence with regard to allocation of cases to different benches selectively, to select judges who were perceived to be politically biased.”
Justice Joseph, who retired from the Supreme Court on 30 November, was quoted by news agency ANI, “We pointed that the Supreme Court was not going in right direction. Many aspects we brought in the notice of the then Chief Justice (Dipak Misra) to put things on the proper path. Since there was no result, we thought there was no other option but to bring it to the notice of the nation.”
Justice Joseph said that Justice Chelameswar was the ‘initiator’ of the idea of going public with the press conference and other three judges supported it. In the press conference, the rebel judges had questioned the motive of the then CJI Misra while allocating politically sensitive cases such as the death of Judge Loya, who was investigating BJP President Amit Shah’s alleged involvement in the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kauser Bi.
The Congress had used the press conference by four judges to initiate an impeachment motion against the then CJI Misra.