New Delhi, Dec 3 : Reacting to the statement by former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Kurien that there were “several instances of external influences on the Supreme Court,” which had forced Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur to address the media when Justice Dipak Misra was the Chief Justice of India, the Congress on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP should issue a clarification in this regard.
The Congress also demanded an independent inquiry by a Parliamentary committee and an independent judicial probe into the revelations made by Justice Kurien.
Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, 'the revelations made by Justice Kurien have confirmed the apprehensions of the Congress of interference by the NDA Government in the functioning of the judiciary.'
He (Justice Kurien) has clearly and in unequivocal terms talked about the biases injected into the system. We demand an immediate clarification from the PM and the BJP on the matter. We need an independent inquiry by Parliament and independent judicial inquiry immediately.’’
Mr Singhvi said that the remarks by Justice Kurien had confirmed all the apprehensions expressed by the Congress of an interference of the Government in the functioning of the judiciary.
‘’It is now clear that all the apprehensions that were expressed before by the Congress were based on facts and have proved right,’’he said.
In an interview to a national daily, Justice Kurien, who demitted office as a Supreme Court judge on November 29, explained that there were “several instances of external influences on the Supreme Court,” which had forced Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur to address the media when Justice Dipak Misra was the Chief Justice of India.
“Someone from outside was controlling the CJI, that is what we felt. So we met him, asked him, wrote to him to maintain independence and majesty of the Supreme Court. When all attempts failed, we decided to hold a press conference,” Justice Kurien said in the interview.
He added that there were “signs of influence with regard to allocation of cases to different benches selectively, to select judges who were perceived to be politically biased.”
In the press conference held on January 12, 2018, Justice Chelameswar had addressed the media and had stated that they had written to the then CJI Dipak Misra stating that the administration of the SC was not 'in order'. This press conference was reportedly in response to the assignment of the Judge Loya death case to Justice Arun Mishra's bench.(UNI)