New Delhi, Jan 12: In an unprecedented move in the history of India, Justice Jasti Chelameswar, the number 2 judge in the Supreme Court and three other judges of the apex court took on the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra directly on Friday. Justice Chelameswar addressed the media along with Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph outside his house in New Delhi where they targeted CJI Misra alleging that the administration of the top court was not in order. (Who is Justice Chelameswar, Justice Gogoi, Justice Lokur, Justice Joseph)
“This is an extraordinary event in the history of India and the judicial system. For some time, the administration of Supreme Court has not been in order. Less desirable things have happened in the past two months. We thought we had a responsibility as senior judges to place it in front of the country,” said Justice J Chelameswar. (Full text of letter written by the 4 sitting judges)
Justice Chelameswar said that they had also met CJI Misra and submitted a letter with their concerns to him, but their efforts failed. “With no pleasure we are compelled take the decision to call a press conference,” he said. (Live updates of the developments after the press conference)
“We told the CJI that things are not order and something should be done, but unfortunately our efforts went in vain. The hallmark of a good democracy is an independent judiciary. We tried to convince the CJI again this morning (Friday, January 12), but nothing happened. When he did not listen to us, we had no other alternative but to come before the media, to let the nation know that it is important to preserve the institution of judiciary,” said Justice Chelameswar. “Let the nation decide that,” he said when asked if the CJI should be impeached. (Here’s what the government has said on the issue)
“Couple of months back, four of us gave a signed letter to the CJI and we wanted a particular thing to be done in a particular manner. The thing was done, but in a way, that it raises doubt on the integrity of the institution. The four of us made a request to CJI that a particular thing is not in order, but he didn’t listen to us,” he added. Justice Chelameswar also said that “democracy will be under threat if the judiciary does not function properly”.
The moves comes at a time when the Supreme Court Collegium led by CJI Misra unanimously recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra for appointment as Supreme Court judge. According to reports, the Collegium had also recommended the name of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice KM Joseph, for the post of the Supreme Court judge.