Not so judge­men­tal

Sunday Express - - INDIA - SANT­WANA BHAT­TACHARYA The author is Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor, TNIE. Email: sant­[email protected] newin­di­an­ex­press.com

Those who thought the re­cently re­tired Jus­tice Kurian Joseph would be crit­i­cal of the Prime Min­is­ter’s visit to the Supreme Court and his peek at Court No. 1 were in for a sur­prise. At an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion -- a pub­lic in­ter­view of sorts -- or­gan­ised by vet­eran Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jais­ingh’s le­gal news por­tal, The Leaflet, Joseph was in fact crit­i­cal of the crit­ics for “blow­ing a rou­tine event out of pro­por­tion”. Joseph re­counted the many oc­ca­sions that he has vis­ited the Prime Min­is­ter’s res­i­dence while still in the ju­di­ciary, along with the CJI of the day and other judges. The in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary from the pale of the ex­ec­u­tive, he noted, was not de­pen­dent on such in­nocu­ous in­ter­ac­tions on for­mal oc­ca­sions. When the ex­ec­u­tive still holds the levers of ap­point­ment of judges, and post-re­tire­ment car­rots, the oc­ca­sional in­ter­ac­tions should hardly be seen as an of­fence, he said. Modi be­came the first Prime Min­is­ter to visit the Supreme Court as a guest of the CJI for the re­cent BIMSTEC con­fer­ence. The Court No.1 was also opened late in the evening on the PM’s re­quest. He sat in the first row, meant for ar­gu­ing se­nior coun­sel, and had a cup of tea.

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