Justice Kurian Joseph Writes To CJI Dipak Misra, Slams Delay In Appointing Recommended Judges

| April 12 , 2018 , 13:22 IST

Justice Kurian Joseph of the Supreme Court reached out to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in a letter, alleging that the “very life and existence” of the apex court is under threat over the delay in acting on the collegium’s recommendation to elevate a judge and senior advocate to the Supreme Court.

In the strongly worded appeal sent to 22 other judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Kurian wrote, “it is the first time in the history of this court where nothing is known as to what has happened to a recommendation after three months.”

The reference was to the collegium's decision of February to recommend the names of senior advocate Indu Malhotra and Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court Justice K M Joseph for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court.

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Justice Kurian urged the CJI to set up a bench of 7 of the seniormost judges of the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the matter of the government sitting on the recommendation.

A member of the collegium that recommended the names for elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Kurian warned that “the dignity, honour and respect of this institution is going down day by day since we are not able to take the recommendations for appointment to this Court to their logical conclusion within the normally expected times”.

Justice Kurian wrote 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.”

He added, “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?”

Justice Kurian is one of the 4 judges of the Supreme Court that called a press conference in January, for the first time in history, alleging threat to the judiciary due to CJI Dipak Misra abusing his powers as Master of Roster. The other judges that were a part of the press conference were Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, and Madan B Lokur.