In a sensational claim, former Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph, who retired on November 29, said previous Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra was working under some influence of an "external source" that 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 the current Chief Justice, and Madan Lokur – hold a press conference against justice Misra on January 12 to flag their concerns about preferential allocation of sensitive cases to judges low down on the top 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 told news agency PTI.
Without elaborating on who the external source was, Justice Joseph there was a perception among the judges that Justice Misra was working under some influence.
On being asked about whether he wants to give reference to any particular case, Justice Joseph said: "I am sorry. I don't want to take it any forward."
The retired judge, however, said the presser had an impact and things started changing for good during the remaining part of justice Misra's tenure as CJI and is now continuing under the stewardship of the justice Gogoi. Misra retired on October 2.
"All issues and changes the four senior judges were thinking at the January 12 press conference were started by CJI Misra and since it is the continuous process, the present CJI Ranjan Gogoi is taking it forward."
He added that the issues which have come now in the public domain are in the context of the same press conference.
A day after his retirement, Justice Joseph had said he had no regrets over the ‘unprecedented’ January 12 press conference.
"What a strange question you are asking? I never regretted whatever I did, I did it very consciously for a cause and for a cause for which there was no other way left. That was the stage, when we did it," said Joseph on being asked about the press conference.
According to him, systems and practices in the Supreme Court would take time to change as they have been there for quite long.
When Joseph was asked whether the problem of roster is now over in the apex court, he replied, "Probably that is the one mistake. It is not a question of roster.
"It was question of some unhealthy practice and systems which were followed in the Supreme Court but in the matter of business actually. So, it was against that although roster was one of the issues but there were other issues along with that," he said.
(With PTI inputs)