Former judge of Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph said that he regretted his decision in the NJAC case, after seeing things now.
"I now regret being part of the NJAC judgment, after seeing things now", he said.
Justice Joseph was part of the Constitution Bench, which by 4:1 majority struck down the 99th Constitution Amendment that had created the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) to replace the collegium system for appointment of judges.
He was delivering the inaugural address of the seminar on the topic " Challenges faced by the Indian Constitution in the Present Era", at the 13th National Conference of the All India Lawyers Union (AILU) held at Kochi on December 28.
He confessed that his judgment in the National Judicial Commission case was a mistake and that he realized it within months, whereas Justice J.S.Verma took more than twenty five years to realise that his judgment in the second judge's case was a mistake. He reminded the lawyers that they had a duty to defend the Constitution.
Justice Kurian Joseph said that all the constitutional institutions in the country were facing a credibility crisis like never before. He said that such a situation could not even be comprehended ten -fifteen years ago. According to him, the only instance where Judiciary failed to live up to the expectations of the people earlier was during the internal emergency and the country suffered the consequences.
Justice Kurian Joseph said that the holy book of every Indian was the Indian Constitution and that it was the Constitution that webbed together the country which was diverse in religions, languages, dialects and ethnicities. Referring to Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, which he said was applicable to any person in the territory of India, he added that the Constitution even took care of the people who came to India from outside.
Justice K.K.Denesan, former Judge of the High Court of Kerala and presently the Ombudsman for Local Self-Government Institutions in Kerala and C.P.Sudhakara Prasad, Advocate General of Kerala also spoke on the occasion.
E K Narayanan, National Vice President of AILU presided over the function. Senior Advocate P.V.Surendranath welcomed the gathering and Advocate M.R.Sreelatha proposed vote of thanks.