March 24, 2018

Four judges revolt against chief justice of Supreme Court

13 January 2018, 05:11 | Rufus Hill

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra

SC judges presser Dipak Misra holds meeting Bar says CJI hearing usual cases

Justice Chelameshwar in the press conference said he and his colleagues had compelling reasons to come out into the open because he did not want people of this country to say that the four judges had sold their souls by not speaking out against the injustices they presided over.

Reuters could not immediately reach the chief justice for comment. Justice Chelameswar along with Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, completed the hearing of cases listed before them before noon and left the court premises. We have tried to persuade the chief justice that certain things are not in order in the Supreme Court but we have failed.

It said the judges have specifically highlighted two issues.

Khanna paid the price for his dissent when he was superseded by justice MH Beg for the post of Chief Justice by the Indira Gandhi government. Asked whether they wanted the Chief Justice to be impeached, Justice Chelameswar said, "Let the nation decide".

"Our judiciary is reputed, judiciary is independent and it has credibility".

The institution wields enormous influence in the South Asian nation and has in the past revoked laws passed by the parliament that it regarded as infringing upon citizens' rights. Unfortunately, we couldn't convince him.

According to the Constitution of India, the Chief Justice of India can be in office 65 years of age.

Taking exception to the order, the judges wrote to the CJI: "When the Memorandum of Procedure was the subject matter of a decision of a Constitution Bench in Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association and another vs Union of India... it is hard to understand how any bench could have dealt with the matter..."

"The Congress earnestly appeals that the Full Court of the Supreme Court should take up the issues raised by the four the judges and find solutions that are consistent with the traditions and conventions of the judiciary pointed out by the judges and that will preserve the independence of the judiciary", it said. They have added for good measure that cases with far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution are being assigned to junior judges and Benches "of their preferences", a suggestion that is being read by some as an ominous reference to an unknown external hand.

Taking a stand regarding the press conference carried out by the four senior judges of the Supreme Court earlier today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a press address made a brief appearance before the media and raised some pertinent questions.

The court was hearing two separate pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of judge Loya, who presided over the case in connection with the alleged staged encounter of suspected extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh. The judges have expressed displeasure over delays in finalising the MoP and observed that the government's "silence" on the matter meant that a draft sent to it in March 2017 had been accepted. "There are many things less than desirable that have happened in the last few months", said Justice Jasti Chelameswar.

She also said "extreme interference" of the Centre in the functioning of the judiciary was "dangerous" for democracy, but did not elaborate. "Judiciary must remain the pillar of democracy". From now on every common man could look at all judicial order with suspicion.

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