Saturday, April 23, 2016

Article 356 and Justice Joseph

Under Article 356 of our Constitution, "If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution", the President's rule will be the consequence. President's satisfaction is subject to judicial analysis and not subject to judicial caricaturing.

Division Bench of the Uttarakhand High Court headed by CJ K.M.Joseph transcended legal dignity while pronouncing that the President is not infallible, in the process of deciding the legality of President's rule. The High Court could have come to the same conclusion without passing comment on fallibility of the First citizen. Psychologists say that needless comments emanate from a bias or prejudice.

Newspapers have observed that CJ KMJ is a person of simple habits and is the son of K.K.Mathew, a former judge of the Supreme Court. While these are news-worthy, they are not germane to analysis of the present order of the court.

The Supreme Court was forced to stay the High Court's order quashing the imposition of President's rule for the simple reason that the High Court had not yet issued the written judgment. When the High Court was requested to stay its orders, the Chief Justice nonchalantly replied, "I will not stay my order. Go to Supreme Court." He must have known that an unwritten order would only attract stay from the apex court. Bias blinds a person.

Justice Joseph is only 58 years old. His record is apparently clean enough to merit elevation to the Supreme Court. He should not allow prejudices to abort his elevation. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now comes the news that Justice Joseph has been transferred to AP and Telangana HC. Is the SC sending any message?