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Justice Kurian Joseph, part of controversial Jan 12 presser, retires

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Justice Kurian Joseph, third senior-most of the who was one of the four senior judges to have conducted an unprecedented January 12 presser mounting a virtual revolt against the then of Misra, retired from the top court Thursday after a five-and-a half-year tenure.

Along with Justices Ranjan Gogoi, J Chelameswar and Madan B Lokur, he had raised questions on "selective" allocation of cases, including the sensitive case of special CBI B H Loya, who died on December 1, 2014.

Justice Gogoi is presently the of and Justice Chelameswar retired in June this year.

The press meet on January 12, the first such in the chequered history of the apex court, had caused shock waves across the nation.

On Thursday, bar leaders bid adieu to Justice Joseph by terming him as one of the most "popular" judges in recent times with a "pleasant smile" and urged Justice Gogoi to replace him a having similar smile.

Justice Joseph had extensively volunteered at two relief collection drives organised by lawyers in after faced one of its worst floods in a 100 years during August this year.

He was also seen singing along with Justice K M Joseph and to raise funds for the southern state in a relief program held in here.

Justice Kurian Joseph, who will turn 65 on November 30, was part of the five- judge bench which by a majority of 3:2 had ruled the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims as "void", "illegal" and "unconstitutional".

He has been actively writing letters to top notches in the judiciary and the government regarding issues ranging from the government's delay in acting upon the Collegium recommendations to restoring the glory of

The had in April penned a letter to Justice Misra regarding the government sitting on the Collegium's recommendation for elevating a senior judge and a to the

In his letter, he had said that the very life and existence of the court was under threat and that history will not pardon us if the top court did not respond to the government's delay in adhering to the recommendations.

He had in 2015 raised objections with the then of India, H L Dattu over holding a three-day long judge's conference during and and had declined to attend dinner arranged by for top judges on the ground that the event and the ongoing conference clashed with the holy weekend for Christians.

He had written a letter to the explaining his stand and also questioning such meetings on holy days.

In the same year, he had also written to Justice Dattu seeking court intervention into the monument, Taj Mahal, facing threat from pollution due to burning pyres from a nearby cremation ground.

He was part of the five-judge constitution bench, which in unanimous decision had turned down the Centre's plea for considering overall population of SC/ST for granting quota for them and had declined to refer the matter to a larger bench.

He was a part of the seven judge constitution bench, which for the first time in the history of Indian judiciary, had held a sitting -- Justice C S Karnan of the -- guilty of contempt and sentenced him to a six month jail term.

Justice Joseph was also in the Constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar that had scrapped the (NJAC) Act to deal with appointments in higher judiciary.

Born on November 30, 1953 in Kerala, he had his early education at St. Joseph's U.P. school at Kalady in district and attained his from Law Academy Law College, Thiruvananthapuram.

Justice Joseph, who began practising in the High Court from 1979, was appointed as an in 1994 and was designated as a in 1996.

He assumed office as a judge in the on July 12, 2000 and served as the of the high court twice.

He was later appointed as the Chief Justice of on February 8, 2010.

Justice Joseph was elevated as a judge of the on March 8, 2013.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 19:35 IST