New Delhi: Days after he retired from the Supreme Court, Justice Kurian Joseph made a sensational claim on Monday that the previous Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, was working under the influence of an “external source”, and added this had impacted the administration of justice. Justice Joseph, along with three of the most senior judges of the Supreme Court — Justices J. Chelameswar, who has since retired, Ranjan Gogoi, who is now the Chief Justice, and Madan B. Lokur — had staged an open revolt against Justice Misra by convening the press conference on January 12 to flag their concerns about the preferential allocation of sensitive cases to judges low in the Supreme Court’s hierarchy.
“The then CJI was working under some influence of some external source. He was remote-controlled by an external source. There was some influence of some external source that was impacting the administration of justice,” Justice Joseph, who retired on November 29, said at a press conference on Monday.
Asked about the basis on which he was making his claim, Justice Joseph said this was the perception among judges who went public over issues dogging the court, as well as among other judges of the court. He refused to elaborate on who the external source was and the cases where there was a bias and justice had been affected.
Pressed again on whether the alleged influence was exerted by some political party or the government in any particular case, Justice Joseph said the judges were only of the view that there was some bias by the judge concerned. He said there was no need to make a reference to any particular case. “I am sorry. I don’t want to take it any forward,” he said.
The retired judge said, however, that the January press conference had an impact and things started changing for the better during the remaining part of Justice Misra’s tenure as CJI and was now continuing under Justice Gogoi’s stewardship.