Turmoil in Supreme Court: Press Conference by 4 judges could have been avoided

In an unprecedented move, four senior most judges of the Supreme Court today called a press conference and said the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place.

Unless this institution is preserved, “democracy will not survive in this country,” the four judges said.

Justice J Chelameswar, the second senior judge after the Chief Justice of India, 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”.

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 this morning and “raised issues affecting the institution”. Soon after the press conference by the four senior-most judges, the CJI called Attorney General K K Venugopal for a meeting, court sources said.

The judges have five main grievances :
a) Important cases get heard by the CJI-led bench, and do not get distributed to other senior judges heading benches

b) Cases with resounding consequences for the nation and its legal system were assigned by the CJI selectively – based on preference, instead of rationality

c) A public interest litigation seeking a probe into Judge BM Loya’s “mysterious” death was assigned to court no. 10 and not to any of the first four benches other than the CJI-led bench

d) The medical college admissions scam was sent to court no. 7 after a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar sent it to a five-judge bench of himself, the CJI, and Justices Gogoi, Lokur and Joseph

e) They feel it was wrong on the CJI’s part to head a small bench and deal with the memorandum of procedure when it was earlier heard by a five-judge bench

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