“How can judges work without fear, if they are denied elevations or transferred?”: Former Justice Kurian Joseph.

The Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kurian Joseph, expressed his concerns on the denial of the rightful elevations/ promotions or transfers without concrete reasons of judges. He said, this has created a sense of fear among the judges and has stifled them from discharging their duties without any fear.

If the Judges are denied their rightful dues then it will definitely affect the integrity of the Indian judiciary, Justice Joseph said.

“There are four things on which judge takes oath- I will deliver justice without fear, failure, affection or ill will. Are judges today really in a position to deliver justice like this? If you are being denied for not listening to your bosses, or being transferred, is it not wrong,” he asked.

He was awarded with Justice VR Krishna Iyer Award 2020, at an event organised by the The Law Trust. Justice CT Ravikumar of Supreme Court presented him with the award.

He said that the members of the Bar are the watch dogs.

“When meritorious people are ignored for their rightful position or when they are being transferred to whatever reasons, where is this bar? The bar according to me is a watch dog. If there is a bar which stands in unity for the integrity, then there will be a good institution of judiciary.”

Justice Kurian Joseph.

He also highlighted the importance of independence of judiciary and how it is crucial for a healthy democracy and the role of Bar associations in safeguarding the democracy.

Justice Kurian appealed to the decision makers and the Bar associates to raise their voices in support of the judges and also against instances when meritorious people are ignored to their rightful positions and are transferred from one corner of the country to the other.

“With a fear of transfer from South to North or from East to West, is not sending a wrong message? If you really want a judge to function without fear, favour to the best of his ability, then he should have that feeling that ‘I will get my recognition which I am bound to get under the Constitution for my service’, ‘my seniority will not be affected’ and ‘my legitimate promotions or rather elevations will not be affected’,“ Justice Kurian Joseph said.

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