SC Judges’ Revolt: Can CJI, Govt Afford to Ignore ‘Supreme’ Tsunami?

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PM Narendra Modi (centre) with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra (left) and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at valedictory session of the National Law Day in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

 

With the judges having spoken up spilling the beans, neither the judiciary (in this case CJI) nor the Executive (Government) can afford to remain silent or indifferent. Any delay in resolving the issue will be a disservice to the nation of 125 crore people

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — Maybe, some newspapers tomorrow morning will be calling today’s tragic development of the Supreme Court as another “Black Friday” of independent India. From common citizens to the media to judicial fraternity, all are shocked and already terming the public outcry of the four senior-most judges over the functioning of the top court as an unprecedented situation that demands urgent attention both from the Chief Justice of India and the Union Government.

However, more than eight hours after the judges addressed the nation through the media in Delhi and said ‘all is not well’ with the Supreme Court, neither the CJI nor the Government has sent any signal highlighting their deep concern over the development.

Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph, the four senior-most judges of Supreme Court after the CJI, addressed an extraordinary press conference and said the administration of the top court is not in order. They said that their repeated attempts to alert the Chief Justice to their concerns had failed to make any progress and so they decided to go public.

They went ahead to warn: “The four of us are convinced that unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country.”

They even alleged that cases of far-reaching consequences are being allocated without transparency.

However, CJI Dipak Misra while working normally at the SC handled 23 cases on Friday. Soon after the press conference, there had been murmurs in media circles that he would be holding a counter press conference but it did not happen – and he should be applauded for it as this could have further muddied the picture. However, even as the legal fraternity has suggested that he should call a full meeting of SC judges at the earliest to redress the grievances of the four senior-most judges in the country, he is yet to do so.

The government, on the other hand, tried to steer clear of the controversy. No official reaction came from the government. The media quoted unknown sources in the government terming the development as “an internal matter of the judiciary.”

Can the public outcry of the four senior judges be brushed aside as an “internal matter?” Indeed, it might have been an internal matter before the press conference. With the judges having spoken up spilling the beans, neither the judiciary (in this case CJI) nor the Executive (Government) can afford to remain silent or indifferent. Any delay in resolving the issue will be a disservice to the nation of 125 crore people.

 

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