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Markandey’s back (a bit): After apology at gunpoint, Katju J cautiously begins blogging about judiciary again

Seems like contempt did not humble Katju for long: India’s most outspoken commentator on the judiciary is back!
Seems like contempt did not humble Katju for long: India’s most outspoken commentator on the judiciary is back!

Former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju has begun blogging about the judiciary again, despite his run-in with the Supreme Court’s rather draconian contempt powers had left him on the ropes, giving a strategic unconditional apology (which the apex court accepted on 7 January, having asserted its dominance over its former brother judge).

Understandably, but unusually for someone who posted 273 entries in 2016 alone, Katju did not publish a single blog post all of December 2016, as the Damoclean contempt petition hung over his head.

When he resumed posting in January and February 2017 after contempt was dropped on 7 January, he seemed to be making up for lost time with 30 posts in January alone.

But, very unusually again for Katju, he only blogged about less controversial issues (by Katju metrics), such as:

  • elections,
  • Jallikattu,
  • some of his speeches,
  • the army,
  • Mahatma Gandhi (who, according to Katju, is a British agent, and a “feudal minded hypocrite and reactionary” who “did India great harm),
  • “Pakistan has more fools than India” (95% of Pakistanis are fools, vis-a-vis only 90% in India, in case you’re wondering),
  • the Pakistan Supreme Court (it’s gone overboard),
  • JNU (it’s lame, says Katju),
  • and Locke and Rousseau (since JNU types apparently had no idea).

Well, all that has changed now and the bench seems to be back on Katju’s menu, though his foray into blogging about the bench is only tentative, offering commentary only a little beyond what has been reported so far.

That said, he seems happy to get stuck into the unspoken religious quota in collegium appointments, and points towards a DNA report about why Justice KM Joseph was not elevated to the Supreme Court:

http://justicekatju.blogspot.in/2017/02/recommendations-of-sc-collegium-of-five.html Recommendations of SC Collegium]

Of the five names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment as Supreme Court Judges, four are Chief Justices, while one of them, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, is a puisne judge.

Perhaps the reason for selecting Justice Nazeer is that he is a Muslim, and there is no Muslim judge presently in the Supreme Court.

But Justice Nazeer was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court in 2003, while Justice Badar Durrez Ahm...ed was appointed as a Delhi High Court Judge in 2002, and is senior to Justice Abdul Nazeer. Justice Badar Ahmed was born in 1956, while Justice Nazeer was born in 1958. Thus, Justice Badar Ahmed is also senior in age.

Justice Badar Ahmed is the seniormost Judge of the Delhi High Court after the Chief Justice of that Court. I was his Chief Justice in 2005-2006, and know him to be an outstanding Judge. If a Muslim was to be chosen for the Supreme Court it should have been the senior of the two.

I was also surprised that Justice K.M. Joseph, presently Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court was not recommended, although he has been an outstanding judge. There is a controversy over this non recommendation

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