KM Joseph: Independent, Fair and Simple to Colleagues
A fair judge who likes to cover all aspects and hear all parties before delivering a judgment, say other judges
judge KK Mathew, Joseph is known for his “simple lifestyle” and keeping abreast of the latest on law. ET spoke with five retired judges belonging to the Supreme Court and high court, including a former Chief Justice of India, and a few lawyers who know/have worked with Justice Joseph.
Describing him as a “fair” judge who likes to cover all aspects and hear all parties before delivering a judgment, judges and lawyers, who refused to be identified, told ET that Justice Joseph is known for his “unquestionable integrity”.
“Like his father, who used to read a lot of books, especially law books, Joseph also is an avid reader,” said a retired Supreme Court judge who has seen Joseph’s performance as a lawyer in the Kerala high court. As a successful lawyer Justice Joseph began practice in Kochi under eminent lawyer the late Varghese Kalliath, who later became the acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. Another retired Supreme Court judge known to Joseph’s family told ET that Joseph used to be accompanied by a famous head clerk who was clerk to several eminent lawyers of the Kerala high court.
A serving senior high court judge said “He (Joseph) is known for his simplicity.” The judge said that he learnt last year from a fellow judge that people were pleasantly surprised one day to see Joseph turning up at the Kerala HC on a bicycle. This was during his visit to his home state after he became the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand HC.
Justice Joseph studied law at Government Law College, Ernakulam. He was enrolled as a lawyer in 1982 and has also practised at the Delhi HC. By the time he was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand on July 31, 2014, he had been a judge of the Kerala HC for more than nine years.
IT’S IN THE FAMILY
CHIEF JUSTICE JOSEPH