The decision of four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court to hold a press conference was termed as “unprecedented” by the legal fraternity, with some experts terming it as “shocking” while some others saying there could have been some compelling reasons for such a move.
In an unprecedented move, four senior judges of the Supreme Court launched a virtual revolt against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, pointing out a litany of problems that they said are plaguing the country’s highest court and warned they could destroy Indian democracy.
Four of the five seniormost judges of the Supreme Court – Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph – said there was an immediate need to preserve the judiciary system in the country if democracy has to be protected. The press conference, a first of its kind for sitting judges of the Supreme Court, was being held at the residence of Justice Chelameswar.
“We met CJI with a specific request which unfortunately couldn’t convince him that we were right therefore, we were left with no choice except to communicate it to the nation that please take care of the institution,” Justice Chelameswar said. A formal statement has also been issued.
However, Justice Sodhi questioned the move of the top judges approaching the media He said , “I am so pained at the outcome of the things. It is appalling. How can you administer Supreme Court by press conference. Are you going to hold a referendum and ask people what is right and wrong.”
Terming the presser as “a welcome step”, senior lawyer Indira Jaising congratulated the four judges for the “bold move” and said: “As they said they are discharging a debt to history, namely to let the nation know that something is going wrong and needs to be corrected.”
Accompanied by three senior judges Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M.B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, Justice J Chelameswar himself said “this is an extraordinary event in the history of any nation, more particularly this nation and an extraordinary event in the institution of judiciary. It is with no pleasure that we are compelled to call this press conference.”