Four Indian judges of SC criticizes its administration

On Friday four – Justices J Chelameswar Ranjan Gogoi Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph – addressed the media at Justice Chelameswar’s home

Four senior judges of India's Supreme Court have lashed out at the workings of the country's top court, directing blame at Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

"This is an extraordinary event in the history of any nation, more particularly this nation and an extraordinary event in the institution of judiciary ... It was done but its raised many questions". "We construe this as a responsibility to the nation and we have done it", said Justice Chelameswar. "The CJ has passed an order saying that this matter will be listed after two weeks before a bench to be nominated by the Chief Justice". It is very unusual for serving SC Judges to interact with the media.

The statement said the judges in their letter have also hinted at other instances which they will raise later.

Misra, who took over as chief justice in August 2017, has yet to comment on the allegations.

In a nutshell, the letter cites Chief Justice Misra's listing of matters of constitutional importance before benches excluding the senior most judges, as the main gripe of the four judges. The same thing happened this morning. "We are discharging our duty to the nation by telling you what's what".

"Four of us are convinced, the democracy will not survive". Unfortunately we could not convince him. We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution.

Having said that, the way the apex court has functioned in the recent past has been far from ideal; today's events has put it beyond doubt that all is not well at the very top of the judiciary.

When the media asked whether this letter and their decision to address them for the first time in independent India's history was in regard to the Justice Loya case, Justice Chelameswar consulted with Justice Gogoi, and then said, "We are making a copy of the letter available to the press".

# There must be some serious reason that they were left with no other option but to hold a Press Conference.

A number of reactions from leading personalities in the country were reported.

He said the Supreme Court judges are all statesmen with their experience and knowledge and he was hopeful that differences between them will be fully resolved in the next few days. "I think Congress should know that", Mr Patra said. Some of the judges are now in the Supreme Court bench. "This will have severe repercussions on judiciary". 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. "Democracy can not survive without an independent judiciary", the judge added. It is with no pleasure that we have been compelled to do this. However, Courts of Justice Ranjan Gogoi (No. 3) and Justice Kurien Joseph (No. 5) were still functioning. "Citizens are entitled to expect the free and fair administration of justice", wrote Dave.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising present at the press conference even prior to its commencement. We have placed this in front of the people. So it was nothing short of astounding that the highest in the judiciary should come to the court of the media to seek redress. We must respect them. "I believe judges concerned should themselves deal with the matter", he asserted.

The Supreme Court past year rejected a government move to have representatives in the group handling appointments and transfers of judges to the highest courts.

The four judges also touched upon another controversial issue, the memorandum of procedure (MoP) on appointment of judges over which the Supreme Court had locked horns with the government. "Most important take away 'when national interest is at stake ordinary rules of business do not apply".


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