Senior Advocate Indira Jaising has raised questions over the controversial transfer of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand KM Joseph who wrote the Judgement quashing President's rule in Uttarakhand. In a series of tweets Jainsing raised concerns over the transfer and even cited the incident of the transfer of Justice Rajeev Shakdar of the Delhi High Court who had authored the Priya Pillai judgement.
“Death of independence of the judiciary. Justice Mathew (after his father K.K. Mathew, a famous Supreme Court judge) who authored the Uttarakhand judgement transferred to Andhra. What is the explanation for this?” Jaising asked. “Was our faith in the judiciary misplaced? Why are the judges who write judgements against the government at the Centre being transferred?
Death of independence of judiciary Justice Mathew who authored the Uttaranchal Judgement transferred to AP,what is the explanation for this?— indira jaising (@IJaising) May 4, 2016
“First Justice Shakdar, who authored the Priya Pillai judgement, and (now) Justice Mathew who wrote the Uttarakhand judgement,” she tweeted. Kejriwal had retweeted this adding: “This is shocking. This raises serious questions about independence of the judiciary.”
we are told that the transfer of Justice Mathew was for health reasons , SC must make public the minutes of its meeting disclosing reasons— indira jaising (@IJaising) May 5, 2016
First Justice Shakdar who authored the Priya Pillai judgement was transferred , then Justice Mathew who wrote the Uttaranchal judgement— indira jaising (@IJaising) May 4, 2016
Was our faith in the judiciary misplaced? Why are judges who write judgements against the government at the Center being transferred?— indira jaising (@IJaising) May 4, 2016
Justice Katju responded to these tweets saying: “In these two transfers the government had no role at all. I have made thorough enquiries. It was not politically motivated.” He also chided Kejriwal for espousing such views.
However, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju said that there was nothing wrong in the transfer. According to him, the transfer was due to “health reasons” and was not in any way “politically motivated”.
“The transfer was not because of some judicial order he passed. It was because of health reasons. Nainital, where the Uttaranchal High Court is situated, is at a height of 6000 ft. Ever since he came to Uttarakhand in July 2014 Justice Joseph has been having health problems, probably because of his heart condition,” Justice Katju said in his blog.
“The transfer, on the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium, was for this reason. It was not politically motivated,” Justice Katju claimed.