In an unprecedented development, four senior Supreme Court judges including Justice Chelameshwar, who’s the second senior most judge after the Chief Justice of India, addressed the media on Friday.
These judges included Justice Chelameshwar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Madan Lokur.
They all left their cases being heard by them to speak to media. This is the first time such development has taken place. Never before a group of sitting judges of the Supreme Court have spoken to media in a news conference while the top court was in a session.
This is being seen as a coup within the top court as judges from rank 2 to rank 5 have joined together to speak to reporters while the Supreme Court is in session.
In November, the differences among senior judges of the Supreme Court and the CJI Dipak Misra over a case relating to medical scam was wide in the open.
CJI Misra had junked an order passed by Justice J Chelameswar, who had referred a Medical Council of India (MCI) scam to a constitution bench of the top court. Snubbing Justice Chelameswa, CJI Misra said that he was the the master of the roster adding that judges could not assign matters to themselves.
Such was the acrimony that lawyer Prashant Bhushan had stormed out of the court alleging that CJI Misra was part of the scam.
Justice Chelameshwar said on Friday that they had written a letter to CJI Misra about their grievances adding that the letter will be shared with the media soon.
We will post the highlights here;
- In the past few months, less than desirable things have been happening. We’ve told the Chief Justice but our pleas have failed- Justice Chelameshwar
- Don’t want people to say 20 yrs later that we did not take care of the institution- Justice Chelameshwar
- Democracy won’t survive without free judiciary-Justice Chelameshwar
- Sometime the administration of the Supreme Court is not in order
- It is unfortunate. We are left with no choice but to take this before the nation : Justice Chelameswar
- We tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice, but we failed. Unless this institution is saved, the democracy won’t survive- Justice Chelameshwar
- There is an issue of assignment of a case which is raised in that letter (to CJI): Justice Ranjan Gogoi, on being asked further if it is about CBI Judge BH Loya.
- Nobody is breaking ranks… Don’t put words in our mouths: Justice Madan Lokur says when asked if it’s a no-confidence vote against CJI.
- With no pleasure we are compelled take the decision to call a press conference. The administration of the SC is not in order & many things which are less than desirable have happened in last few month-Justice Chelameshwar
- Four senior most judges were also asked if CJI Dipak Misra should be impeached
- Administration of Supreme Court is not in order. We tried to persuade the CJI (even today morning) but we failed. Unless the SC is preserved democracy will not be survived in this country
- We met CJI with a specific request which unfortunately couldn’t convince him that we were right therefore, we were left with no choice except to communicate it to the nation that please take care of the institution: Justice Chelameswar
There are reports that the Centre’s Narendra Modi government has gone into huddle to discuss the fallout of today’s historic development. The PMO is reportedly holding talks with the law ministry.