Supreme Court Judge, Justice Chelameswar, has declined to comment when asked if the crisis in India’s top court was finally over. This was days after he and three other senior most Supreme Court judges rebelled against Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
“This is not the place or the time for me to speak (on the issue),” Justice Chelameswar was quoted by IANS.
Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph had on 12 January stunned everybody by holding an unprecedented news conference accusing CJI Misra of assigning politically sensitive cases to relatively junior judges for favourable judgments.
Justice Chelameswar was asked questions to comment on the judicial crisis affecting the Supreme Court at a book launch function, which was also attended by politicians such as Salman Khurshid, Jairam Ramesh and advocate Prashant Bhushan.
However, speaking at the event to release the book titled, ‘Supreme Court Of India, The Beginning’, Justice Chelameswar said that for the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial judiciary was essential. While stressing the need for a study of the Supreme Court as an institution, he said that the decisions made by the apex court touched the lives of the entire population.
“For the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial and independent judiciary is essential, without which liberal democracy will not flourish,” Justice Chelameswar was quoted by PTI.
He also said the top court was not a superintending court of the entire judiciary as per the Constitution, but in practice, it exercised a great deal of such powers.
“The Supreme Court of India is not a superintending court of the entire judiciary of the country. At least the text of the Constitution does not provide for such a superintending power.
“But as a practice, Supreme Court exercise a great deal of superintending powers. Directly the matter of appointments and transfer of judges of high courts, indirectly laying down the law regarding various aspects of administration of justice at high courts and subordinate courts,” he said.