In what could turn out to be a controversial statement, retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Kurian Joseph today said that independence of the judiciary is comparable to the chastity of a virgin.
He was speaking on the topic Independence and Accountability of the Indian Higher Judiciary at an event held at India International Centre, New Delhi.
Justice Kurian Joseph also said that none of the suggestions in the judgment of the Supreme Court National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case have been implemented. He expressed regret over his judgment in the case.
“Fool proof system like a Secretariat should be there for appointment…that is why I regret my NJAC judgment. None of the suggestions for the improvement of Collegium were implemented.”
He further said that the only improvement that has come with respect to the Collegium is that resolutions are uploaded on the Supreme Court website.
“Honor of the institution is to be preserved. We have to improve the Collegium system, but nothing has been done. Only improvement is that resolutions are uploaded.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was the other speaker at the function, said that the process of intimidating the judiciary has started, but it is not by the government.
“Process of mass intimidation of judiciary has begun. And it has not begun from the government…If judges can say such things about each other, why can’t I?”
Even if an allegation against a judge is found to be false, the judge would be remembered for it, Jaitley went on to say.
“[Over the] Last few years, how many attempts have been made to make allegations against the judiciary?… People love making allegations. There should be a mechanism to save the honest judge”, he added.