New Delhi, Jan 13: A day after four senior Supreme Court judges told the media that all is not well with the apex court, the Bar Council of India (BCI) unanimously formed a 7-member delegation which will attempt to resolve the matter between Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and SC judges. Talking to reporters after a meeting today, Manan Kumar Mishra, BCI chairman said,”We have unanimously decided to form a 7-member delegation of the Council who will meet honourable judges of the Supreme Court. We want that the matter be solved at the earliest.”
Mishra criticised Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other leaders for politicising the internal matter of the judiciary. “We’ve given an opportunity to Rahul Gandhi and political parties to talk about our judiciary, it is unfortunate. On behalf of Bar Council of India, I request him and other political parties to not politicise the matter,” Mishra said. (Also read: Congress Questions PM Modi For Sending Principal Secretary to CJI)
The BCI chairman however lauded government’s stand on the issue and said,”Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had yesterday itself said that it is judiciary’s internal matter and govt won’t be interfering in the matter. We appreciate the government’s stand.”
“As far as MOP is concerned, it must be finalised at the earliest in a proper manner. We will write a letter to the govt for the same but is not that big a matter to be brought in public,” BCI chairman added.
Earlier in the day, while speaking to news agency ANI, Mishra had said, “Holding a press conference on a minor issue of the roster is saddening. The Bar Council believes that the matter should have been sorted out internally. If no consensus was achieved, other judges or members of the Bar Council could have been involved. However, it should not have been discussed on a public platform. The judiciary will be weakened as a result of this, and subsequently, the democracy.”
Besides the Bar Council of India, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) also held a meeting today. Speaking to the media after the meeting, the SCBA said that the differences reported by the four judges are grave and should be resolved immediately.
Talking to reporters, Vikas Singh, President of Supreme Court bar Association said,”We will send the unanimous resolution to the Chief Justice of India. We want that the matter be resolved as soon as possible.”
“The first meeting of SCBA will be done with the Chief Justice of India. If he agrees to our views, we will take further appointment from the other judges too and fix a meeting with them,” Singh added. (Also read: Who is Justice Chelameswar, Justice Gogoi, Justice Lokur, Justice Joseph)
On Friday, in an unprecedented move, the four senior-most judges (Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur and Justice Chelameswar) in the Supreme Court burst out in the open and accused the Chief Justice of not strictly adhering to the rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, which they said could create “doubts” about the integrity of the top court.
Speaking to the media at the residence of Justice Chelameswar, the judges said the Supreme Court administration was “not in order” and released an undated letter they wrote to Justice Misra in which they conceded that the CJI was the “master of the roster” but this was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual, of the Chief Justice over his colleagues.”