New Delhi: After Justice Madan B Lokur, another former judge who sat next to him in the unprecedented press conference of January 2018, Justice Kurian Joseph, has questioned the appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.
Justice Joseph recalled what former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Gogoi had said at the press conference: "We have discharged our debt to the nation."
Justice Joseph expressed surprise at the acceptance of the post to the upper house by his former colleague who had once showed such courage.
"I am surprised as to how Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who once exhibited such courage of conviction to uphold the independence of judiciary, has compromised the noble principles on the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary," he said.
Justice Joseph underlined the importance of the independence of judiciary, maintaning that our great nation continues to be firmly grounded on the basic structures and constitutional values mainly due to this principle.
"The moment this confidence of the people is shaken, the moment there is a perception that a section among judges are otherwise biased or looking forward, the tectonic alignment of the nation built on solid foundations is shaken," he said.
Justice Joseph added he came out in public in an unprecedented move along with Justices J Chelameswar, Gogoi and Lokur to tell the nation there was a threat to this foundation.
"And now I feel the threat is at large," emphasised the retired judge.
Pointing out this was the reason why he decided not to take up any posts after retirement, Justice Joseph said "the acceptance of nomination as member of Rajya Sabha by a former Chief Justice of India has certainly shaken the confidence of the common man on the independence of judiciary, which is also one of the basic structures of the Constitution of India".
Earlier, Justice Lokur had also criticised the appointment of Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha.
"This redefines the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary. Has the last bastion fallen?" he asked while reacting to the development.