Former Supreme Court Judge Kurian Joseph has claimed ex-Chief Justice Dipak Misra was “remote-controlled by an external source”. Dropping a bomb shell with an explosive accusation, Justice Kurian said that it impacted the administration of justice.
Retired Justice Joseph was among the four senior judges of the apex court who staged an open revolt against Justice Misra by convening an unprecedented press conference on January 12. Speaking to media, Justices Kurian Joseph, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, the current Chief Justice and Madan Lokur flagged their concerns about preferential allocation of sensitive cases to judges low down on the top court’s hierarchy.
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Meanwhile, the Congress on Monday said Justice Joseph’s remarks proved its allegations against the government of interference in the highest levels of judiciary, and demanded separate parliamentary and judicial inquiries into the matter. There was no immediate reaction from the government or the BJP to Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s claims of alleged interference made at a press conference.
Speaking to PTI, Justice Joseph told “The then CJI was working under some influence of some external source. He was remote-controlled by an external source. There was some influence of some external source that was impacting the administration of justice.” Joseph retired on November 29.There was no immediate reaction from Justice Misra.
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When asked on what basis he was making his claim, Justice Joseph said this was the perception among the judges, who went public over issues dogging the apex court, as well as among other judges of the court.
He refused to elaborate on who the external source was and the cases where there was a bias and administration of justice affected. Pressed again on whether the alleged influence was exerted by some political party or the government in any particular case, Justice Joseph said the judges were only of the view that there was some bias by the judge concerned.
He said there was no need to make a reference to any particular case. “I am sorry. I don’t want to take it any forward,” he said.
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Justice Joseph told NDTV that the former CJI wasn’t taking decisions independently. “We are sure that the Chief Justice was not taking decisions on his own,” he said.
Justice Joseph said the decision to hold the press conference was taken after being sure that the then CJI was “under an external influence”. Asked about the Judge B H Loya case, Justice Joseph said he cannot comment on it and that this chapter is now closed.
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To a query as to who was remote-controlling Justice Misra, Justice Joseph said they “could not pinpoint who was behind”. One instance that was pointed out at the press conference itself was the allocation of cases in the apex court. The allocation of petitions seeking a re-investigation into the death of judge Loya — as is commonly perceived — was not the only reason for the press conference, he said.
The Supreme Court on April 19 rejected the PILs seeking probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, ruling he had died of “natural causes”. Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.
BJP President Amit Shah was among others who were the accused in the case when he was the Minister of State for Home in Gujarat. Shah was subsequently discharged by a trial court.