Senior 4 sitting Judges of SC addressed Media

Santosh Hegde

Gogoi would be succeeding Misra as CJI in October this year.

The reaction of the legal fraternity ranged from dismay to an outpouring of support.

Following the opposition party issued a two-page statement asking the Supreme Court judges to discuss the points put forward by four judges of the Apex court jointly, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Congress of politicising the issue and advised the party to not take this as a political opportunity for themselves. "This must be guarded against at all costs", they added in the signed letter.

Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurien Joseph, Ranjan Gogoi and Jasti Chelameswaraddressed the press conference on the lawns of Justice Chelameswar's official residence here. On being asked whether they will write to President for seeking impeachment of CJI, the judge added, "We are telling the nation to take care of the institution".

Expert generally feel that it's hard to tell whether Friday's events will lead to a stronger Supreme Court or one weakened by a combination of infighting, questionable procedures, and opacity, which the government may use to its purposes.

Though who are "they" -a line which also appears in the letter written to CJI by judges two months back - is something the four eminent jurists needs to clarify, the immediate trigger for the revolt is apparently assigning a petition in the case regarding Mumbai Judge BH Loya death to a bench of a junior judge. The letter was released to the media on Friday.

"We are not breaking lines".

Justice Gogoi said "nobody is breaking the rank and it is discharge of debt to nation which we have done". "It is the responsibility of the law minister to see how it functions".

# Centre has made it clear it is not going to intervene on the unprecedented development and says the judiciary will resolve the issue by itself. "I am so pained at the outcome of the things..." "I wish the four Supreme Court judges hadn't done this". The action drew mixed reactions, with some praising the four judges and others condemning them.

"It is a complaint on administrative matter".

The four judges have done what they could.

"We will send the unanimous resolution to the Chief Justice of India. It has come too far", Khurshid said. "It is with no pleasure that we are compelled to call this press conference". "From now on ... every judgement will be questioned". They had on Friday said, "Unless the institution is saved, democracy would be in danger". This was not the way.

"This is only at the lower court".

The Congress said the PIL concerning the death of Loya must be entrusted to the senior-most judges of the apex court who should ensure that under their supervision there is a "thorough and impartial" investigation by an independent SIT.

Q: Who addressed the media at this conference? He believes that no violation of discipline had taken place. It clearly indicates that the Judges were aware that a solution could not be found within the restricted area because of the external influence of the government.

The Supreme Court Bar Association will now be proactive and make sure that this doubt instilled in the minds of the public is dealt with, Singh told News18. Former Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav warned that the judiciary, one of the pillars of democracy, was in danger.

Those four judges took offence to the way the chief justice has been assigned cases and deciding benches.

After a meeting of the Bar Council of India (BCI) held on Saturday evening in this connection, BCI chairman Manan Mishra said a seven-member committee has been set up to meet judges of the Supreme Court.

"Whatever differences the judges have regarding the roster or allocation of cases, should be resolved through an in-house mechanism, without airing views in public", Mishra said.

It also spoke about the controversy relating to the issue of delay in finalising the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointments of judges in the higher judiciary.

They gave no specific details at a hastily arranged press conference.

Karl Marx had once said: "Every fight either ends in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes".

"Looking at its own flaws is the first step to correcting an institution, to deepening true constitutional democracy", said Karuna Nundy, a Supreme Court lawyer. That is what we said there (in New Delhi) yesterday.



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