New Delhi/PTI, The Supreme Court, the nation’s highest judiciary which routinely sets the agenda for institutional propriety and probity, was grappling with an unprecedented crisis after four of its most senior judges went public Friday, questioning the conduct of the Chief Justice of India, especially over allocation of cases.
At a press conference held at Justice Jasti Chelameswar’s house in New Delhi, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph targeted Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra — the five make the current Supreme Court Collegium, the highest decision-making body of the judiciary.
Speaking for the four judges, Justice Chelameswar said “we were left with no choice than to communicate it to the nation” that “less than desirable things have happened” in the Supreme Court in the last few months and “we tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order… he must take remedial measures” but “our efforts failed”.The judges made public a seven-page letter they had written to the CJI about two months ago, pointing out that “certain judicial orders passed by this Court” had “adversely affected the overall functioning of the justice delivery system and the independence of the High Courts, besides impacting the administrative functioning of the office of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India”.
The letter mentioned “instances where case having far reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justices of this Court selectively to the benches ‘of their preference’ without any rationale basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all cost.”
“It is too well settled in the jurisprudence of this country that the Chief Justice is only the first amongst the equals — nothing more or nothing less.”