“Very life and existence" of Supreme Court under threat, Justice Kurian Joseph writes to CJI Dipak Misra

Bar & Bench April 12 2018
Kurian Joseph

The “very life and existence” of the Supreme Court of India is under threat, Justice Kurian Joseph has written to Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra while urging him to act on non-appointment of judges by the Central government.

As per the report in Indian Express, the letter states that “history will not pardon us” if the court doesn’t respond to the government’s unprecedented act of sitting on the Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice KM Joseph and Indu Malhotra.

The letter further states that it is the “first time in history of this court where nothing is known as to what has happened to a recommendation after three months.”

Justice Joseph has also urged the CJI to constitute a Bench of seven senior-most judges to take up the matter on the judicial side.

Justice Joseph has also stated that,

“government owes a duty to take a call on the recommendation as soon as the same is sent from the Collegium. Failure to discharge their duty by sitting over on the recommendations of the Collegium doing nothing, in administrative law, is abuse of power.”

The letter states that the act of the executive in not clearing the names, sends the message that if judges don’t toe the line of the government, they will suffer.

“More than anything else, it sends a wrong message which is loud and clear to all Judges down the line not to cause any displeasure to the Executive lest they should suffer. Is this not a threat to the independence of the judiciary?”

Appealing for intervention by the Supreme Court, Justice Joseph states that “if there is no normal delivery on completion of the gestation period, what is urgently done is a CaesarEan section. Unless such a surgical intervention is made at an appropriate time, the child in the womb dies.”

Justice Jasti Chelameswar in a recent interview with Karan Thapar had also shared his concern about the government sitting over the files of Justice KM Joseph and Indu Malhotra without taking a decision. When asked whether the Collegium has reiterated the names, Chelameswar J. had answered in the negative.

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