Cyriac Joseph hell-bent on saving the accused to protect the pride of his denomination
With justice finally getting delivered in Sister Abhaya case, the controversial role of retired Supreme Court Judge Cyriac Joseph must be mentioned. He put all kinds of hurdles in the case to save the accused Catholic Father and Sister who killed young Sister Abhaya for witnessing the accused in a compromising position at the convent’s kitchen in the night. Cyriac Joseph, who also belongs to the same Christian denomination, was hell-bent on saving the accused to protect the pride of his denomination. He was an Additional Advocate General in Kerala when Sister Abhaya was murdered in March 1992 and was elevated as a High Court Judge in 1994.
Joseph became CJI of Karnataka HC
Many were accusing Cyriac Joseph in private of his role in sabotaging the probes – the retired Justice was then caught pants down when he intervened in the Narco Analysis Lab’s findings in Bangalore in 2008. Remember by that time the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which got brickbats from Kerala courts had arrested the accused and they were in jail and brought to Bangalore for narco – analysis test and by then the controversial Cyriac Joseph was Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He was caught by whistleblowers in the narco analysis lab and the matter became a hot potato in the media in mid-2009 and by that time Cyriac Joseph was elevated to the Supreme Court.
The Magistrate ordered that he wanted to visit the Convent where the murder took place rejecting the CBI’s earlier findings. Within days, the Magistrate was transferred and files were summoned and his order was nullified.
CJI Supreme Court also played a role
On August 2009, CBI informed the Kerala High Court that Karnataka Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph had seen the narco-analysis tapes of the accused. Interestingly, in 2010, the then Supreme Court Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan nullified the validity of narco-analysis. But why did Cyriac Joseph misuse his power as the State Chief Justice and see the narco-analysis tapes of the accused, as he knew the details of the case from 1992?
When caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Cyriac Joseph, who attends all religious functions as a chief guest, used to boast that though I am Supreme Court Judge, my religion is my supreme. Many videos of his such controversial speeches are available all over the web.
Joseph’s role revealed by a CJM
Now after the Judgment, a few days ago, retired Chief Judicial Magistrate V T Raghunath, who objected the earlier CBI closure reports revealed the role Justice of Cyriac Joseph. The Magistrate ordered that he wanted to visit the Convent where the murder took place rejecting the CBI’s earlier findings. Within days, the Magistrate was transferred and files were summoned and his order was nullified.
Joseph plumbed new lows as SC judge
Cyriac Joseph’s three-year term (2008-2012) in the Supreme Court was one of the worst. The then Union Minister Kapil Sibal objected to his plum post-retirement appointment as the Telecom Tribunal Chairperson. Sibal in his letter said that in the last three years he delivered just seven judgments and had the worst habit of leaving the case without delivering judgments. In legal circles, many say that as a High Court and Supreme Court Judge, Justice Cyriac Joseph during his total 18-year service might have left more than 1000 cases without writing a judgment!
Landed in NHRC
Though Kapil Sibal managed to kick out Cyriac Joseph from the Telecom Tribunal, the entire Catholic lobby rallied behind him and posted him as a Member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Those days in Parliament, even the BJP raised an objection, asking as to how such a useless person can be posted in NHRC. But Joseph continued in the NHRC and retired as acting chairperson till 2017 and now enjoying life as head of his home state Kerala’s anti-corruption forum Lok Ayukta.
 Controversy on appointment of Justice Cyriac Joseph as the head of TDSAT – Mar 04, 2013, Economic Times
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