In an unprecedented move, four senior most judges of the Supreme Court on Friday called a press conference and said that the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place.
Unless this institution is preserved, “democracy will not survive” in this country, the four judges said.
The second senior judge after the Chief Justice of India, Justice J Chelameswar, said, “Sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months”.
Chelameswar, who was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph at the press conference, said they had met CJI Dipak Misra this morning and “raised issues affecting the institution”.
“Unless this institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in this country,” Justice J Chelameswar said adding, it was “extremely painful” to hold press conference in such a manner.
He said all the four judges “failed to persuade CJI that certain things are not in order and therefore you should take remedial measures. Unfortunately, our efforts failed.
“And all four of us are convinced that democracy is at stake and many things have happened in recent past,” he said.
Asked what these issues were, he said they included the “allocation of cases by CJI”. The remarks assume significance as the Supreme Court on Friday took up for consideration the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
Justice Chelameswar said, “We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation.
Our efforts have failed in convincing CJI to take steps to protect the institution.”
“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. But sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months.”
In reply to a question, Justice Gogoi said, “nobody is breaking the rank and it is discharge of debt to nation which we have done.”
All the judges rubbished questions on whether they have broken ranks and said that they will start doing things, which they do.
Justice Gogoi, who would be succeeding present CJI in October this year, said that, “it’s a discharge of debt to the nation which we have done.”
Asked whether they wanted the Chief Justice to be impeached, Justice Chelameswar said “don’t try to put words in my mouth”.