Not so judgemental
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.