Four SC judges speak out against 'selective' allocation of cases

Violet Powell
January 14, 2018

Bar Council of India on Saturday chose to form a 7 member delegation to meet all judges of Supreme Court, including the 4 dissenting senior judges of Supreme Court.

He appealed to political leaders not to politicise the issue and let the people have faith in the judiciary.

"We are sorry to say that off late the twin rules mentioned above have not been strictly adhered to", the letter said.

"We have unanimously chose to form a 7-member delegation of the Council who will meet honourable judges of the Supreme Court", BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra told journalists on Saturday. Today's press conference would cause a bad precedent. However, the Chief Justice of India cancelled a verdict to this effect, issued by a bench consisting Justice J. Chelameshwar, by setting up another bench.

"The differences that have been reported in the press conference by the four senior judges of the Supreme Court and the other differences which are reflected in the newspapers are of grave concern and should be immediately considered by the full court of the Supreme Court", Singh said while reading out the resolution. And many judges believe the answer is yes.

The hope is the other good judges, of whom there are many, will come together and help mend fences, improve processes and "shut the window before the chill sets in", as a Bloomberg Quint commentator puts it. Justices Chelameshwar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph held a press meet at the residence of Justice Chelameswar, the second in line after the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra.

When journalists pressed for details, Justice Gogoi said, "It is an issue of assignment of a case (to a bench)".

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"The Government of India has not responded to the communication and in view of this silence, it must be taken that the MoP as finalised by the Collegium has been accepted by the Government of India on the basis of the order of this court...."

"This is the saddest day for Indian judiciary and Indian democracy..."

Justice Joseph said in Kochi that there was no constitutional crisis in the top court and the issues they had raised appeared to have been sorted out. What we are getting from the statement of the four senior Hon'ble Judges of Supreme Court about the affairs of the Court makes us really sad as citizens, " she said in her tweet.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, who had a meeting with Justice Misra after the joint news conference of the judges, said it "could have been avoided" and that all judges would now have to act in "statesmanship" to ensure total harmony.

She also said "extreme interference" of the Centre in the functioning of the judiciary was "dangerous" for democracy, but did not elaborate. The order being referred to pertained to the case in which a nexus between middlemen and some judges of the higher judiciary was alleged. There was no official confirmation about reports that Justice Misra will be meeting with the rebel judges.

Four judges of the Supreme Court (SC), in an unprecedented move, on Friday called a media conference to air explosive comments against the functioning of the court, in particular the chief justice of India.

Describing the allegation made as "extremely important", Rahul Gandhi requested for a "proper" investigation "from the highest level of the Supreme Court". It also said the matters posted for hearing on Monday should be transferred to the first five judges court. "Extreme interference of central government with judiciary is risky for democracy", she said.

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