Selective delay in judges‘ appointment way of interference: Justice Kurien

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Coming down sharply on the government, retired judge Joseph on Friday said that the selective delay by the Centre in appointment and elevation of to the high courts and the was a way of interference in the administration of justice.

"In the matter of appointments and selection, the way the appointments have been selectively delayed, withheld, all these are in a way in interference. Look at the cases, some of the cases which have been selected by the and sent for consideration by the government. For a person who is likely to go up in the normal course, in accordance with seniority…if that is sought to be interfered with, that is in a way interference with the administration of justice,” told media at his residence.

The case of delay in elevation of Justice to the was one example, but not the only one, said, adding that there were delays in appointment of to the high courts also.

Justice K M Joseph, whose name was first recommended by the on January 10, was finally elevated to the apex court in August despite the government's reservations against it.

Apart from the delay in selections and elevation, Justice Kurien also admonished the government for dilly-dallying on the issue of following the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of to high courts and Supreme Court.

"As far as MoP is concerned, the Supreme Court's view is that it is final because it has approved. Government keeps on saying it is not final because we are awaiting something for the Supreme Court. is acting on the latest draft of MOP only. I wonder why the government is saying it is still not final,” Justice Kurien said.

In his press conference of Friday, Justice Kurien Joseph also said that he had no regrets about the January 12 press conference, when he and three other sitting judges of the top court had come out in open revolt against the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra. The four judges had then alleged that Justice Misra was not being fair in allocation of cases to them and that he was taking decisions without consulting anybody.

"I never regretted it…because whatever I did, I did very consciously…for a cause. And for a cause for which there was no other way left. That was a stage at which we did it” Justice Kurien said, adding that the crisis was not fully over yet and it would take time for the institution to change.

“It takes a long time for the systems and the practices to change. The process of change will continue. It was not a question of only roster. It was a question of some unhealthy practices that was being followed in the Supreme Court in the matter of its business actually. Roster was only one of the issues,” he said.

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