New Delhi, Jan 16: The Supreme Court on Monday announced the composition of a 5-judge constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra. From January 17, the 5-judge constitution bench will hear major cases such as those challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and its 2013 judgment re-criminalising gay sex between consenting adults. Notably, the four senior-most judges who revolted against the CJI were not included in the 5-judge constitution bench.Also Read - NEET-SS 2021: Doctors Knock Supreme Court’s Door Challenging 'Abrupt Last-minute Changes' in Exam Pattern
The 5-judge constitution bench, comprising CJI Dipak Misra, Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan, will commence the hearing on a range of crucial matters from January 17. Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, who held a press conference on Friday last week raising concerns about the functioning of the Supreme Court, did not feature in the list. Also Read - 'Third Wave Not in Offing Immediately', Supreme Court Allows Kerala Govt to Hold Class XI Exams Offline
The judges who have been included in the 5-judge constitution bench had last year heard various constitution bench matters from October 10, which includes the power tussle between the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi over administrative jurisdiction and a matter relating to passive euthanasia. The bench would now hear the contentious issue of the ban on the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple and the pleas, which have raised a question as to when will a lawmaker, facing a criminal trial, stand disqualified. Also Read - COVID-Related Deaths or Not? After Supreme Court's '3rd Wave' Rebuke, Centre Issues Guidelines | Key Takeaways
Meanwhile, it is learnt that there was no effort from either the CJI or from the four judges to initiate a discussion on the Friday press conference when they met on Monday over tea. The CJI is not considering the suggestion of convening a full court of all judges of the Supreme Court and has also not notified any meeting of the collegium so far, said an Indian Express report.
In an unprecedented press conference earlier on Friday, the four judges said that “things are not in order” at the Supreme Court. “Administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. Many things less than desirable have happened in the last few months. We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. We tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order and remedial measures are necessary. Unfortunately, our efforts have failed in convincing the Chief Justice of India to take steps to protect this institution,” Justice Chelameswar said.
The four judges did not refer to any particular matter the Chief Justice had decided in assigning benches. Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”