Supreme Court crisis settled, say Attorney General, Bar Council of India

17 January, 2018, 03:00 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Illustration Ajit Ninan

The bench of Justice Arun Mishra has been under much controversy.

To a question whether any action should be taken against them for criticising the Chief Justice of India, he said there is no need of any action and they "are all honest and men of integrity".

The four judges said CJI Misra was ignoring rules and assigning important cases to select benches "with no rationale".

Sources said the meeting was also attended by Justice A K Sikri and two other judges.

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"We have tried to convince Chief Justice that certain things are not in order and remedial measures are needed". Although the letter didn't mention about Justice Loya's death, however, to a query, Justice Gogoi confirmed that Loya's death was also an issue. "This must be done immediately to restore public confidence in the judiciary and in the Supreme Court".

A coordination committee of the Delhi district court bar associations termed as "unfortunate" the press conference by the four seniormost judges of the apex court and said it would take to the streets if the crisis was not resolved within 10 days.

The "rebels" were concerned that the SC had entertained a PIL in the Loya matter when the Bombay high court was already processing the case. Both Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Chelameswar reportedly consoled him, according to reporters, quoting confidential sources in the court. Although they conceded that the CJI was master of the roster, but that was "not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues". Another meeting is likely on Wednesday morning.

Attorney-general K.K. Venugopal's publicly expressed optimism has had to be equally publicly withdrawn.

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There has been much controversy about a "particular bench" being assigned sensitive cases especially the medical admission scam case and the case pertaining to Judge Loya.

It would appear that the four judges have concerns that are indeed grave and do indeed begin to swing the needle of the compass in the direction of Mr Modi.

On January 17, the newly-formed bench will commence hearing on eight crucial cases that include validity of the Aadhaar Act, Section 377, and entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

The four judges had addressed a press conference on January 12 claiming that CJI Deepak Misra has not been allocating the cases wisely.

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