A press conference conducted by four senior judges attracted the world’s attention towards India. Did CJI’s approach in “those” cases trigger displeasure amongst other judges?

Judiciary plays a prominent role in the functioning of democracy. Especially, in a country where the government says people don’t have absolute ownership of their own body. Unfortunately, India is perhaps the only country where its law minister asks citizens to ignore incidents of a data breach involving biometric data.

Yesterday, the nation was jeopardized in the morning when most of the news channels ticker announced that four Supreme Court judges are set to address a press conference to discuss some issues. By afternoon, the picture was clear; Supreme Court’s top four judges conducted a press conference and announced that all is not well between them and the CJI, Dipak Misra.

Justice Kurien Joseph, Justice Madan Lokur, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and Justice Jasti Chelameswar addressed the journalists. They shared their opinion that the administration of the country’s highest court is not in order and it is essential for them to come in public and protect the independence of the judiciary. All four judges are tagged as the ones with unquestionable integrity within the legal circles.

They pointed out that the CJI Dipak Misra is intentionally making sure some critical cases, including Justice B H Loya death case, are not assigned to senior judges. Instead, cases were assigned to benches consisting Justice Arun Mishra as the common judge in all.

“Those” cases

As pointed out by lawyer Apurva Vishwanath in her article published by the Print, certain vital cases like the medical colleges’ scam, Sahara Birla Diary, Aircel-Maxis deal, Justice Loya death case were selectively assigned to benches consisting Justice Arun Mishra. This is something that prompted the four judges to approach the CJI and discuss their opinion. However, they claim the CJI failed to resolve their issues. Hence, they decided to put everything in front of the nation.

This should be looked at as a welcome step and will help in bringing more transparency in the justice system. After all, our judiciary is not as transparent as the American one. More judges may choose to go the press conference way to share their grievances with the public during the next few months.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy was the first politician to welcome this move and support the four judges openly. As expected, the Congress tried to earn political mileage by blaming the BJP, while the supporters of saffron party tried to link Justice Jasti Chelameswar with D Raja just because the MP met the senior judge after the press conference.

“Prashant Bhushan’s valid petition was dismissed, and Rs.25 lakhs were imposed as a cost recently. Politically sensitive cases were handed over to junior judges. No doubt, cases were handled in an alarmingly arbitrary manner, “said a young lawyer who does not wish to be named. As of now, the government is on a wait and watch mode. Now let’s take a look at how prominent people reacted to the press conference.

Also Read: Judicial pendencies are due to the lack of the judges?

Article Desk

Contributed by The Article staff