In an unprecedented move, top four judges of Supreme Court addressed the media today making public their differences with the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. Justice Jasti Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur Justice Kurien Joseph in a highly unusual move accused CJI of assigning cases to benches of his preference. Four top judges also accused CJI of not paying attention to their grievances and therefore they were forced to address the nation. They said that CJI was ensuring that top judges do not get to hear important cases. When asked if CJI of India should be impeached they said that ‘This is for the people to decide’. They added that the institutional integrity of the Supreme Court should be maintained to uphold the democracy. While the judges did not mention which cases they specifically wanted to point to but they did seem to mention that the trigger was case of death of CBI judge, Justice B H Loya case
It must be noted here that Chief Justice is the master of Roster and it is his prerogative to assign cases but there must be an inherent trust. It seems that there is complete breakdown of trust and faith in most respected institution of the land. Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra hasn’t spoken yet. There were rumors earlier that CJI would address the press but that did not happen.
Sources within the Government of India said that the Government was of the view that this was an internal matter of the judiciary and should be resolved by them internally. There was no need for Executive to interfere. Rahul Gandhi addressed the media earlier today and said that allegations of four judges against CJI should be looked into. He said that the extremely important points were raised and there should be an impartial enquiry into this.
It is extremely unfortunate that four judges decided to go to the press instead of resolving it internally. This has left a very bad precedent and has damaged the institution irreparably.