New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) Legal experts have a divided opinion on the issues raised by senior Supreme Court judges J Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph over its functioning, with a section criticising the judges and the other coming out in their support.

While former Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra reacted sharply, saying the two senior judges were “venting their anger” for not being in the race to become Chief Justice of India (CJI), former Chief Justice R M Lodha said the recent happenings have dented the image of the Supreme Court badly.

Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who had yesterday said the CJI is the “master of the roster” and it was improper to make allegations against any of the CJIs, today refused to comment on the issue.

The reactions came against the backdrop of the recent developments, including a letter written by Justice Joseph to Chief Justice Dipak Misra over delay by the government in clearing the names recommended by the collegium, and Justice Chelameswar refusing to list a PIL seeking formulation of guidelines on allocation of cases.

Condemning the move of the two senior judges, Justice Dhingra said, “These judges are just venting their anger for not becoming Chief Justice of India and are showing that they are anti-government or anti-establishment.” Coming out in support of the judges on the issue of non-clearance of names recommended by the collegium, Justice Lodha told a TV channel that appointments to the top court cannot be in limbo.

“Appointments to the Supreme Court cannot be in limbo because the apex court is an important organisation of the Constitution. Appointment to the SC is very important. No constitutional functionary can sit over appointments indefinitely. Within a reasonable time if the government does not act on recommendations of the collegium, it is for the SC collegium to decide.

“If government has any reservation, they must send it back to the collegium. The recent happenings have dented the image of the Supreme Court badly,” Justice Lodha told a TV channel.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.