New Delhi, Jan 13: The Congress party on Saturday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra to the residence of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra a day after four senior judges of the Supreme Court took on the apex court for irregularities. News agency ANI had posted a picture of Nripendra Misra sitting in his car outside the CJI residence on Saturday. Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Supreme Court Grants Rs 4 Lakh to Woman Rendered Homeless
“As PM’s Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra visits CJI’s residence” at 5, Krishna Menon Marg; PM must answer the reason for sending this special messenger to Chief Justice of India, tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. (Also Read: CJI Unlikely to Introduce Any Changes at Supreme Court, Claims Report) Also Read - COVID-19: As Country Goes Into Lockdown Mode, SC to Conduct Hearings Via Video Conferencing
Speaking to India Today, Misra later said that he didn’t meet CJI Dipak Misra. “On the way to office, I stopped by at CJI’s residence and left my card at gate with Happy New Year greetings. I did not meet the CJI.” According to the reports, Dipak Misra refused to meet Nripendra Misra to avoid further controversies. (Also Read: ‘Chief Justice First Among Equals’: Top Quotes From Supreme Court Judges’ Letter to CJI)
Nripendra Misra’s visit to Dipak Misra’s residence is significant considering the government had said that it won’t interfere as the matter was an internal one.
The developments have come a day after four senior judges, in an unprecedented move, attacked the CJI Dipak Misra for not adhering to the rules in assigning cases which has made them “doubt” the integrity of the Supreme Court. Leaving the judiciary and observers stunned, the judges – Judges Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph, Madan B. Lokur and Justice Chelameswar – claimed that the Supreme Court administration was “not in order”.
“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.
Releasing a seven-page letter, they had written to CJI Misra, the judges said that they haven’t received a response from him. The undated letter also mentioned that the CJI is master of the roster but this was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.