Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Threat to Democracy and independence of Judiciary?

Threat to Democracy and independence of Judiciary?

Asked whether he felt that the judges should not have come out in the open with their grievances against the Chief Justice, he said: "Any problem, everyone can see two sides". This case was allotted to Justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanagoudar, who issued notices to the Maharastra government, now headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party seeking a response.

"We are sorry to say that of late the twin rules mentioned above have not been strictly adhered to", the letter said. Today's press conference would cause a bad precedent. Senior party leaders Ahmed Patel, AICC general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Mohan Prakash and its chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala were also present. Reacting to the comments by four senior Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court about the affairs of the Court, the Chief Minister said it made her sad as a citizen.

The collegium has extensive powers in matters of appointing judges, transferring judges, administration of the courts and day-to-day management of the courts. He believes that no violation of discipline had taken place.

The former Karnataka Lokayukta said judiciary is totally different from Legislature and Executive, and the four Judges, by raising allegations in public, have brought them to the same level.

The four judges - justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B Lokur besides justice Chelameswar - released a letter they wrote to justice Misra a couple of months ago, conceding that he was the master of roster but that was "not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the chief justice over his colleagues". What the judges said at the press conference gave out an alarming impression to the common man that many cases are not dealt with honesty, that the judges who preside over such cases face threat to their lives, and that there are moves from many quarters to shield the accused.

The government, the letter said, had not responded to the communication and "in view of this silence it must be taken that the MoP has been accepted by the government on the basis of the order of this court". Some of these things that they have raised was being discussed in various quarters.

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Sources close to the four judges on Saturday rejected criticism that they should never have gone public by saying that Friday's press conference was a victory for democracy.

Asked if the chief justice should be impeached, Chelameswar said, "That's for the nation to decide".

The press-meet began with Justice Chelameswar stating that this is an extraordinary event in the history of a nation and it was with no pleasure that they were compelled to take this step.

In its statement on the issue, read out by Surjewala, the Congress said it was perturbed by the developments and that observations made by the judges and the issues raised by them at their press conference were "extremely disturbing" and have a "far-reaching" consequences for the values that are held sacred - safeguarding democracy and preserving the independence of the judiciary.

Opinion | The Supreme Court is facing an unprecedented turmoil in the wake of four senior most judges taking exception to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra's style of functioning.

The Bar Council chairman also appreciated the Government's decision to not interfere in the matter and leaving it to the judiciary to take proper action.

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