24
Tuesday
April 2018
2:39 AM IST
News Headlines
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | About Deepika 
Kerala News
Virtual revolt by 4 SC judges against CJI, say democracy at stake
 
(New Delhi, Jan 12, 2018):Warning that democracy is at stake, four senior judges of the Supreme Court on Friday mounted a virtual revolt against the country's chief justice, raising questions on "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders, sending shockwaves across the judiciary and polity.

The unprecedented move by the four judges including Justice J Chelameswar, the second senior judge after Chief Justice Dipak Misra, brought to fore the simmering differences between the country's top judge and some senior judges in the apex court in recent months. The apex court currently has 25 judges

Justice Chelameswar himself described as an "extraordinary event" in the annals of the Indian judiciary when the judges addressed a joint news conference during which he said "sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months."

The judge accused Justice Misra of not taking any "remedial measures" on some of the issues which affected the functioning of the apex court that they had raised. Justice Misra became the CJI on August 28, 2017 and he is due to retire from on October 2 this year

Unless this institution is preserved, "democracy will not survive" in this country, Justice Chelameswar said at the unscheduled press conference, in the first of its kind event in independent India, leaving uncertain how this open dissension in the hallowed institution would be resolved.

In a scathing criticism and unvarnished self-reflection of the Supreme Court, Chelameswar, who was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph at the press conference, said they had met the chief justice this morning and "raised issues affecting the institution." The CJI and the four judges comprise the Supreme Court collegium that selects judges for the higher judiciary

"Unless this institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in this country," Justice Chelameswar said, adding that it was "extremly painful" to hold the press conference in such a manner. The conference was held at his residence here

He said all the four judges "failed to persuade CJI that certain things are not in order and therefore you should take remedial measures. Unfortunately our efforts failed

"And all four of us are convinced that democracy is at stake and many things have happened in recent past," he said

Asked what these issues were, he said they included the "allocation of cases by CJI". The remarks assume significance as the apex court earlier in the day took up for consideration the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh 'fake encounter' case

Justice Chelameswar said "we owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. Our efforts have failed in convincing CJI to take steps to protect the institution."

"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 is with no pleasure that we are compelled to call this press conference."

There was no immediate official response from the CJI office.

Asked whether they wanted the Chief Justice to be impeached, Justice Chelameswar said, "let the nation decide."

The Centre made it clear it is not going to intervene on the unprecedented development, saying the judiciary will resolve the issue itself. "Our judiciary is reputed all over the world, independent and they will sort the matter themselves," said minister of state for law P P Chaudhury

The four judges, in their seven-page letter to the CJI, said, "It is with great anguish and concern that we have thought it proper to address this letter to you so as to highlight certain judicial orders passed by this court which has adversely affected the overall functioning of the justice delivering system and the independence of the high courts besides impacting the administrative functioning of the office of the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India."

The letter, that was released to the press, was sent a couple of months back, Justice Chelameswar said.

"It is too well settled in the jurisprudence of this country that the chief justice is only first amongst the equals -- nothing more or nothing less."

The letter said that there have been instances where cases having "far reaching consequences for the nation" and the institution have been assigned by the chief justices of this court "selectively to the benches 'of their preference' without any rationale basis" for such assignment. "This must be guarded against at all costs."



"We are not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged the image of this institution to some extent."

The letter also raised the concerns of the judges on allocation of cases.

"It is too well settled in the jurisprudence of this country that the chief justice is only first amongst the equals -- nothing more or nothing less.

"A necessary corollary to the above mentioned principle is the members of any multi numbered judicial body including this court would not arrogate to themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches, both composition wise and strength wise with due regard to the roster fixed

"Any departure from the above two rules would not only lead to unpleasant and undesirable consequences of creating doubt in the body politic about the integrity of the institution. Not to talk about the chaos that would result from such departure

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

The legal fraternity said they were "pained" and "sad" at the outcome of events in the country's highest court.

"It is very unfortunate," said former CJI K G Balakrishnan, while Congress leader Ashwani Kumar, who is also a senior advocate, observed, "It is a sad day for the judicial system." Some senior advocates like K T S Tulsi said there could have been some "compelling" reasons for the four judges to lay bare their differences.

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

At the news conference, the judges rubbished suggestions that they have broken ranks and said they will discharge their duties as usual

Justice Gogoi said "nobody is breaking the rank and it is discharge of debt to nation which we have done." Gogoi would be succeeding Misra as CJI in October this year.


Varappuzha custody death: Chennithala launches hunger strike for CBI probe
Kottayam hypermarket gutted down in huge fire
Kottayam hypermarket gutted down in huge fire
Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara: A man of God who followed his heart
Hate speech on Kathua rape victim: Case against Kotak Mahindra Bank employee Vishnu Nandakumar
Gang attacks BJP leader in Thiruvananthapuram
Govt doctors on indefinite stir in Kerala
Radio Jockey's murder: Ali Bhai confesses to the crime
BJP protests Varappuzha Sreejith's custody death
Hadiya has "absolute autonomy over her person": SC on love jihad case
Dalit Activists march in Kottayam supporting harthal / Video
Dalit harthal: Here's what political leaders said
M Geethanandan held
State government issues protocol to confirm brain death
Dalit harthal: KSRTC buses attacked, Geethanandan taken into custody / Video
Dalit Aikyavedi calls for hartal on Monday
Percussion expert Padmanabha Marar dead
Govt to conduct 'socio-economic survey' among tribals
Supreme Court nullifies Kerala medical colleges admission bill
Malayalam actor Ajith passes away
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
I'm my own worst critic: Benedict Cumberbatch
 (London, Apr 23, 2018): Benedict Cumberbatch admits he is critical of his own acting performa  
Women being vocal is still new to the world: Priyanka Chopra
Shooting of 'Student of the Year 2' begins in Dehradun
Challenging to play Thackeray, says Nawazuddin Siddiqui
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Iraq says it carried out air raid against IS in Syria
 Baghdad, Apr 19 (AFP) The Iraqi air force today carried out a "deadly raid" against positions of the
Diaz-Canel is Cuba's new president as Castro steps aside
Nawaz Sharif, daughter leave for London
Former US first lady Barbara Bush dead at 92
NATIONAL NEWS
Swamy hails VP's decision rejecting impeachment notice
 (New Delhi, Apr 23, 2018): BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today hailed Vice President M Venkaia
Swamy hails VP's decision rejecting impeachment notice
Woman arrested for killing newborn daughter
24 injured in bus accident in UP
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2017 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.