Revolt of four SC judges : Bar Association to meet in the evening, Opposition blames Govt for situation
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IBNS) The Supreme Court Bar Association will on Saturday evening discuss the issue of the four rebel judges and will pass a resolution on the current situation in the judiciary as reactions to the press conference held by the quartet in an unprecedented manner continued to pour in even a day after with the opposition parties holding the Government responsible for the situation.
That the Bar Association feels that the controversy could have been avoided was clear when Bar Assciation President Vikash Singh told the media that the press conference by the four senior most judges was not "properly planned" and it created "doubts in the minds of people."
According to reports, the meeting will take place at 5 pm.
On Sunday, a delegation of the Association will meet senior judges and the CJI and request them to refrain from telling the public about internal issues.
A CNN-News 18 report said CJI Dipak Misra on Saturday consulted few other Supreme Court judges.
The Bar Association President also told CNN-News 18 in an interview that there is no question of the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra, against whom his four colleagues virtually held a banner of revolt and made it public.
“There is no question of impeachment in this case. This has to be addressed within the system rather than going to press like this. You go for a press conference to reveal, but the intention of this press conference was to conceal,” he said.
“This has led to imagination of the country running wild. The institution derives its respect for the credibility it has garnered over these years. If the credibility goes, who will respect the institution? The press conference has only led to speculation,” he added.
According to ANI, chairman of Bar Council of India Manan Kumar Mishra criticised the four Supreme Court judges for holding a press conference on Friday. "Holding a press conference on a minor issue of roster is saddening," he said.
Mishra further added that Bar Council is set to have a meeting at 5 pm on Saturday and meet the four senior judges on Sunday. "We have a meeting at 5 pm today (Saturday). Tomorrow (Sunday) our delegation will meet those senior judges, Chief Justice of India and other judges and request them to not bring issues like these in front of public," he said.
In an unprecedented move on Friday, four top judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference during which they questioned the conduct CJI Dipak Misra, a, especially over the allocation of cases. Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — who make the current Supreme Court Collegium, the highest decision-making body of the judiciary — said they had failed to persuade CJI Dipak Misra that certain things are not in order, and left it to the people to protect the judiciary. They warned that democracy was under threat.
The government, in response, maintained that the matter will be sorted out within the judiciary and that the press conference “could have been avoided.”
With the development still rocking a wide spectrum of society, varied reactions continued to come in.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday tweeted that democracy in India is in danger. “Democracy in India is in danger”. This was the warning that came from the Hon Judges yesterday. So no, it’s not an internal matter for the Hon SC," Abdullah said.
Speaking to reporters, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha attacked the Narendra Modi Government over the short Winter Session of Parliament and said, "If the country's Parliament is not in order, the Supreme Court is not in order, then democracy is under threat in the country. If the four senior judges have gone public then how is it a Supreme Court matter alone? If you read the letter, one thing is clear that Supreme Court judges or benches were appointed selectively to hear certain cases."
He further added that people would be failing in their national duty if they did not take note of this.
"If political parties, or anyone concerned about the future of democracy in the country, don't take note of this, we fail in out national duty. It is a serious matter. All those who care about the future of the country and of democracy should raise their voice," Sinha said.
Congress leader and senior Supreme Court advocate Salman Khurshid also criticised the Government for the emerging situation.
"Conincidence of interference of govt causing stress to constitutional institutions. Sad. exposition of trouble in Supreme Court. Nero fiddles?" he tweeted.
On his tweeter page, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said : "The integrity and independence of the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, is a vital pillar of the Constitution and non-negotiable. Full statement from yesterday."
Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad tweeted : "Fall of final frontier. Bureaucracy, Media, Election Commission and now Supreme Court. Independence of most of the institutions of nation building are falling apart due to the Machiavellian politics of govt of the day."
Coming to the defence of the Government, BJP's National General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao tweeted :"SupremeCourt as an institution is much bigger and critical for the democratic framework of India. Yes SC now has the problem which is internal and institutional. In the interest of country congress should not get into #tricks business."
Meanwhile, in a curious development, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nripendra Misra was on Saturday reportedly seen outside CJI Dipak Misra’s residence in New Delhi.
ANI tweeted a photograph of Nripendra Misra sitting in his car outside the residence of the CJI.
There is no word if Nripendra Misra met CJI Dipak Misra and held a meeting in the backdrop of the development.
A media report from Kochi quoted Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the four rebels, as saying that the issues raised by them would be resolved.
JJustice oseph reportedly said that they acted solely in the interest of judiciary and justice.
"Stood up for justice and judiciary.... That is what we said there (in New Delhi) yesterday. Nothing beyond that," Justice Joseph said in Malayalam when local television news channels approached him at his ancestral home in Kalady.