In an unprecedented move, four of the five senior most Supreme Court judges on Friday addressed a press conference and attacked Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
During the press conference, senior judge Justice J Chelameswar said that all their efforts had failed and unless the Supreme Court is not preserved, democracy cannot be protected.
Chelameswar, who was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph at the press conference, said they had met CJI Dipak Misra on Friday morning and “raised issues affecting the institution”.
“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 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,” he added.
When reporters asked about the issues, the top court judges said they included “allocation of cases by CJI Dipak Misra”.
The hard-hitting remarks against the CJI come on a day when Supreme Court took up for consideration the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
Here are the live updates:
# Anna Hazare: The areas of concern flagged by the four senior judges of the apex court show that there is some kind of a nexus between some people in this government and some judges.
# BJP’s Sambit Patra: Surprised and pained that Congress which has been rejected number of times by people in elections is trying to gain political mileage.
# Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee: Unfortunate and dangerous for democracy. It'll create more problems than solve. Since the judges have spoken they've done disservice to country because if judiciary is weakened, questions arise in people's minds, it already has.
# Former Maharashtra Advocate General Shrihari Aney: They wouldn't have taken the step without thinking. If it has fallen upon them to take action, it's up to us to understand what led to that.
# Rahul Gandhi: Points raised by the Hon judges need to be looked into carefully, even Justice Loya's death needs to be investigated properly. Observations made by Hon Judges are extremely disturbing and have far reaching consequences. Points raised by the Hon judges need to be looked into carefully, even Justice Loya's death needs to be investigated properly.
# Congress leader RS Surjewala: Observations made by Hon Judges are extremely disturbing and have far reaching consequences.
# Attorney General K K Venugopal: The unprecedented move by the four senior Supreme Court judges in holding a press conference “could have been avoided”. The judges will now have to act in “statesmanship” to ensure complete harmony.
# MoS Law PP Chaudhary: The judiciary is independent and reputed. They will resolve it themselves.
# Former judge R S Sodhi criticised the appeal made by four judges of the Supreme Court of India, said they showed Chief Justice Dipak Misra in a poor light, reports ANI.
# Former judge R S Sodhi: Issues do not matter, but it is their complaint on administration that matters. They are only four,but there are 23 others. These four got together and showed the chief justice in poor light. It is immature and childish behaviour. I think all four judges should be impeached.
# Shrihari Aney, former Attorney General: They wouldn't have taken the step without thinking. If it has fallen upon them to take action, it's up to us to understand what led to that.
# Kiran Rijiju, MoS Home: Defence lawyers are raising issues just to delay matter but we have requisite things in India for fair trial of Vijay Mallya or anybody. So they need not worry about conditions of trial in India or should not cast aspersion on independence of our judiciary.
# Supreme Court Bar Association to meet in New Delhi on January 13 to discuss the aftermath of the press conference held by four senior judges.
# Former Union law minister Hansraj Bhardwaj: Judiciary must remain pillar of democracy. It’s responsibility of (the) law minister to see how it functions.
# Former Union law minister Hansraj Bhardwaj: It’s the loss of prestige of the entire institution. If you lose public’s trust what remains?" Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal to meet party president Rahul Gandhi at 5pm. To discuss over the press conference called by the four Supreme Court judges.
# Congress: “Democracy is in danger”.
# PB Sawant, former Supreme Court judge: If Judges had to come before the media and take this unprecedented step. This means that there is a serious dispute.]
# Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to law minister RS Prasad about the allegations made by the 4 Supreme Court judges: ANI quoting sources.
# Justice RS Sodhi (Retd): I think all four judges should be impeached. They have no right to sit there and deliver verdicts anymore.
# Justice RS Sodhi (Retd): This trade unionism is wrong. Democracy in danger is not for them to say. We have parliament, courts, police functioning.
# There must be some serious reason that they were left with no other option but to hold a Press Conference. But what connection Loya has with this? I know nothing about this & I don't want to make comments about any political matter: Mukul Mudgal, retired HC judge
# Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra met the Attorney General KK Venugopal over the allegations made by the 4 Supreme Court judges, reported ANI.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra met the Attorney General KK Venugopal over the allegations made by the 4 Supreme Court judges: Sources (file pics) pic.twitter.com/a5yp2W7pkn— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2018
# I think it's a historic Press Conference. It was very well done. I think we, the people of India, have a right to know what is going on within the judiciary & I welcome this: Indira Jaising, Supreme Court advocate on PC by 4 Supreme Court judges
# Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Law Minister RS Prasad about the allegations made by the 4 Supreme Court judges: ANI
# Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to address the media at 2 pm, Attorney General to also accompany him.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to address the media at 2 pm, Attorney General to also accompany him. pic.twitter.com/0CLVtBsyv2— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2018
# CJI Dipak Mishra has called Attorney General KK Venugopal to his chambers.
After this PC CJI calls AG KK Venugopal to his chambers pic.twitter.com/k0rmgpC1AS— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) January 12, 2018
# We can't criticize them, they are men of great integrity & have sacrificed a lot of their legal career, where they could've made money as senior counsels. We must respect them. PM must ensure that the 4 judges & CJI, in fact, whole SC come to one opinion & proceed further: S.Swamy
We can't criticize them, they are men of great integrity & have sacrificed a lot of their legal career, where they could've made money as senior counsels. We must respect them. PM must ensure that the 4 judges & CJI, in fact whole SC come to one opinion & proceed further: S.Swamy pic.twitter.com/dYj6MJPhkO— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2018
# "It is certainly a very serious development which has cast a huge shadow on the Chief Justice. Somebody had to confront the situation, where CJ is blatantly misusing his powers, hence the unprecedented step": Prashant Bhushan, lawyer & politician
# This is a black day for Judiciary. Today's press conference would cause a bad precedent. From now on every common man could look at all judicial order with suspicion. Every judgement will be questioned: Ujjwal Nikam, senior lawyer
# Deeply sad & pained, also feel a sense of agony that highest court of land should come under such severe stress that forces judges to address the media: Salman Khurshid, senior advocate on a press conference by 4 Supreme Court judges.
# It's quite shocking. There must have been compelling reasons for the senior-most judges to have adopted this course of action. One could see pain on their faces while they were speaking: KTS Tulsi, advocate SC on 4 judges' letter to CJI
# 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: Supreme Court Judges in letter to Chief Justice of India
# It is with great anguish&concern that we thought it proper to highlight certain judicial orders passed by this Court that adversely affected functioning of justice delivery system & independence of HCs besides impacting administrative functioning of CJI's office: SC Judges to CJI
# Prime Minister Narendra Modi has summoned Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
# Supreme Court Judge J.Chelameswar says, 'All 4 of us are convinced that unless this institution (Supreme Court) is preserved & it maintains its equanimity, democracy will survive in this country, or any country.
#WATCH: Supreme Court Judge J.Chelameswar says, 'All 4 of us are convinced that unless this institution (Supreme Court) is preserved & it maintains its equanimity, democracy will survive in this country, or any country. pic.twitter.com/FBYSeLClH6— ANI (@ANI) January 12, 2018
# Nobody is breaking the rank and it is discharge of debt to nation which we have done: Justice Gogoi
# “Four of us are convinced, the democracy will not survive. We met CJI this morning, with specific request but we could not convince him. We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution. We place it before people of country,” Justice Gogoi said.
# Judges J.Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph release 7-page letter, that they wrote to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
# “All our efforts have failed and we are all convinced that unless this institution is not preserved, democracy can’t be protected in the country,” Justice Chelameswar said.
# Let the nation decide that: Justice J.Chelameswar on if the CJI should be impeached
# "Sometimes the administration of the SC is not in order and many things which have happened in the last few months," says Justice Chelameswar.