Supreme Court in Dock


The Supreme Court itself is in dock. The accusers are four senior judges and the accused is the Chief Justice of India. The four judges Mr.Chelameswar, Mr.Madan Lokur, Mr.Kurian Joseph and Mr.Ranjan Gogoi, in an unprecedented move holding a press conference levied serious and several charges of acting arbitrarily, discriminating against the judges in allotment of cases under the roaster system and the setting up the Constitutional and other benches. They said as Chief Justice he is first among the equals but not the Supreme authority over other judges. They wrote a letter some two months back to point him that all was not well in the practice and procedures in the administrative functioning. As Chief Justice he is master of the Roaster that allot cases for court hearing to different judges. But there are certain rules to work it out. There ought to be mutual consultations with judges and it should not be fixed by the Chief Justice alone. Before holding the press conference the four judges met the Chief Justice Mr.Deepak Mishra and he was not agreeable to their point of view. The judges said that they had no other option but to come before the Nation through the media and said democracy was danger and cannot function in such a way. In their letter they referred to certain particular cases where cases were delayed for no reasons. They also alleged interference in the functioning of High Court pointing out a case of death of CBI judge Loya in mysterious circumstances and there was hearing on it in the Bombay High Court under on public interest litigation. Mr.Loya was hearing a case in which Bhartiya Janata Party President Mr.Amit Shah is one of the accused facing trial. There are some people of legal profession supporting the stand of the four judges but some others also assailed their action as most uncalled for and damaging the dignity and decorum of the Supreme Court and the legal profession. The Congress leader Mr.Salman Khursheid who had been Union Law Minister and presently practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court of India said this issue should be amicably settled inside the Supreme Court and there should not be any interference in the matter from outside. The Government has taken a stand that it has nothing to do in this matter. There are mechanism in the Supreme Court to deal with and settle such crisis. There is no question of democracy in peril in this issue as the judges say. It is an issue of distrust and dissatisfaction among the judges over the way of working of Chief Justice and procedures and rules. It would have better if the four judges should have not acted in such a way of coming before the Media to expose it to the whole nation.

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