New Delhi, Apr 20: The Supreme Court on Friday asked Attorney General K.K. Venugopal’s assistance in a PIL seeking to restrain the media from reporting on the issue of impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra. A bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri said it would not restrain the media before hearing the AG and declined to pass any order.
Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for NGO-In Pursuit of Justice told the bench that the Law Commission has already given a report suggesting restraint order against the media on the issue. There is also a constitutional provision restraining media from writing on impeachment as it will affect the judge to “discharge his judicial function”, she added.
“Judges have to act fearless,” the advocate said, adding that politicians have been speaking on the issue and media is reporting, which affects the functioning of the judiciary. Referring to the statements of politicians against judiciary member, Justice Sikri said: “It is unfortunate. We are all disturbed by what is happening. Legislators are also supposed to follow rules.”
The SC, however, refused to pass any order gagging the media, saying it would not do this without hearing the Attorney General. The court posted the matter for hearing on May 7.
This comes at a time when opposition parties are planning to move an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra following allegations made against him by senior judges of Supreme Court.
In an unprecedented press conference, four senior-most judges of Supreme Court – Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph – said that “things are not in order” at the Supreme Court. One of the key points raised by the four judges was the “selective” allocation of cases by the CJI.
The judges released an undated letter they wrote to Justice Misra in which they conceded that the Chief Justice 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”. Asked if they were seeking impeachment of the CJI, Justice Chelameswar said: “We are not saying anything. Let the nation decide.”