NEW DELHI: Making it clear that he has no regrets over the unprecedented January 12 press conference by the four senior-most Supreme Court judges, retired Justice Kurian Joseph on Friday said that after the issues were raised, things have started changing at the apex court and have become more transparent.
A day after he was retired, Justice Joseph held an informal interaction with media persons at his official residence where he celebrated his birthday and cut cake.
“I never regretted whatever I did. I did it very consciously for a cause; for a cause for which there was no other way left. That was the stage, when we did it. You can’t say that the crisis is fully over, because it was an institutional crisis. So it takes a long time for the systems and the practices to change. Hopefully it will change,” the retired judge said.
Kurian Joseph was part of the January 12 press conference in which the present Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M B Lokur and former judge J Chelameswar had raised serious issues including the roster system ( allocation of cases in the top court).
He also asserted that there is no political pressure in the exercise of judicial powers by a judge. He, however, added that the manner in which appointments are selectively delayed or withheld is in a way interference in the administration of justice.
On elaborating the issues with regard to roster system, Justice Joseph said, “There were certain systems and practices which we have been asking. Instead of an individual taking a decision without consulting anybody, let’s have some systems and practices to be followed which would be healthy for the institutions. That’s what we have been asking, that let’s have a consultative process.”
Clarifying his position on why a full court meeting was not convened and press conference was called, Justice Joseph said, “No judge can convene a full court meeting on its own. Only the chief justice can convene a full court meeting. It was for the CJI to convene a full court meeting. There were many such requests made in this regard.”
Justice Joseph also reiterated that he is not going to take up any post-retirement job.
“As long as the govt thinks post-retirement jobs for judges is a charity, judges should not accept such positions. But tribunals are to be filled, so if govt calls them honourably, then it’s fine,” he said.