Retired Justice K Joseph hits hard: Ex-judges shouldn't take post-retirement jobs if given as 'charity'

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Dec 1: A day after Justice K Joseph retired from the Supreme Court, he sent a strong message across when he said, "Former judges should not take up post-retirement jobs if these are given as "charity" by the government," adding, " So long as the faith and rituals do not violate the mandate of the Constitution of India as provided under Article 25, no Supreme Court or no court for that matter can interfere."Referring to the press conference by four SC Judges on Jan 12, Joseph said, " I don't regret it. I did it consciously as no option was left. I can't say that the crisis is over. It was an institutional crisis and it takes time for a system to change. It's changing and the process will continue."

Joseph, was part of the January 12 press conference in which now Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Lokur and former judge J Chelameswar had raised serious questions over various issues including allocation of cases in the top court.He said former judges should take post-retirement assignments only when they are "honourably requested" by the government to man tribunals."So long as the government holds the view that it is a charity done to the retired judges, no judge should take it. If a judge is honourably called, requested and appointed and that process is honourably made, there is no harm in it because many of the tribunals are to be manned by judges,"  Joseph said.Talking to reporters on his birthday, he said one trouble which the Supreme Court is facing is a shortage of good judges, a concern which has also been echoed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.Joseph, who had penned a minority verdict against the death penalty on the eve of demitting of his office, favoured abolishment of capital punishment and also cleared his view on it saying, "it is not a personal stand".When a judge is discharging his duties from the office of judge he is discharging it to the knowledge of his best interest, ability and belief, he said."So, as far as the death penalty is concerned what I wrote is not my personal philosophies. My personal philosophies should have nothing to do with my judgment. People have taken the spirit of the Bachaan Singh judgment of 1980 forward and said that it should be applied in the rarest of rare cases," the former apex court judge said.Joseph said there are various advancements made in the views and theories, and questioned as to how it will be assessed that there was no possibility of a reformation of the death row convict."Is there any system available to us to assess that? This is what I suggested that there should be psychological assessment," he added.

With Agencies