A day after his retirement, a Supreme Court bench nominated Justice Kurian Joseph as a mediator in a case involving rival family members.
On 30th November, the bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Hemant Gupta, while considering a special leave petition which is pending since 2005, observed: “Considering the nature of dispute involved in these matters, we deem it appropriate that the parties must explore the possibilities of settlement and for which purpose we nominate Justice Kurian Joseph, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India as a Mediator. All the parties shall appear before the Mediator as per the convenience of Mr. Justice Kurian Joseph (Retd.)”
The bench also directed the members of the Futnani family (who are parties to this SLP) interested in the outcome of the mediation process shall participate in the mediation proceedings for a full, complete and effectual resolution of all the disputes including in respect of disputes pending in the high court.
The bench then posted the SLP to the last week of January with ‘a sanguine hope that the parties will extend full cooperation to the learned Mediator.’
The ‘Mediator’ Judge
Justice Kurian Joseph, who retired as Supreme Court judge, is known for prompting fighting litigants to put an end to disputes. It is worthwhile to remember the incident when a boy handed over to him a handmade note which read: “God always has something for you: A KEY for every problem, A LIGHT for every shadow, A RELIEF for every sorrow and A PLAN for every tomorrow.”
In his speech he gave during the farewell organized by the SCBA, Justice Joseph had spoken briefly on how unnecessary litigation was “killing” judicial time, the need for compassion to be shown by courts and judges and his passion for mediated settlement of disputes and arbitration awards.