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Supreme Court judges' unprecedented media address sends tremors across the country

Supreme Court judges' unprecedented media address sends tremors across the country”

They accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of ignoring their suggestions to take remedial measures.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the issues raised by the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, including the death of judge B.H. Loya, are "extremely important and need to be addressed".

The judges' move highlights the widening rift in the upper echelons of the country's judiciary.

"This is an extraordinary event in the history of any nation, more particularly this nation, and an extraordinary event in the institution of judiciary", Justice Chelameswar told reporters.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising present at the press conference even prior to its commencement.

In a first in India, four senior Judges of the Supreme Court (SC) have gone public against the Chief Justice of India (CJI), telling the media that the administration of the top Court "has not been in order". "Democracy can not survive without an independent judiciary", the judge added.

They also revealed a letter sent to the chief justice a few month ago. "We are sorry to say that off late the twin rules mentioned above have not been strictly adhered to".

The criticism came after the Congress put out a two-page statement that asked the Supreme Court judges to jointly discuss the points flagged by four judges of the top court.

Tulsi further said they have gone to the public and people will reinforce their love and respect for the institution. "The non-finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure has left almost 40 per cent of the sanctioned posts of the judges vacant, leading to delay in justice delivery", the statement said. When the Memorandum of Procedure was the subject matter of a decision of a Constitution Bench of this Court in Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and Anr. vs. Union of India [(2016) 5 SCC 1] it is hard to understand as to how any other Bench could have dealt with the matter. A time has come for the nation to debate the larger issues that squarely arise from the communication released by the judges to the press. Judiciary was always considered as a family.

This incident took the CJI by alarm, and then he declared himself to be the last authority after the Registrar General of the Supreme Court, in the administrative side. Nobody has the right to comment on issues that are pending before the Supreme Court. On being asked if it is about special CBI judge BH Loya, Gogoi said, "Yes". Bharadwaj told the Indian news agency, ANI. "Democracy won't survive without free judiciary".

Venugopal also believed that the press conference by the four senior-most judges could have been avoided and the judges would now have to act in a "statesman like" manner to ensure complete harmony. Another party leader and senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, who was also not in Delhi, was also consulted.

The direct impact that the media exposure and the hovering possibilities of a media trial have led to demean the highest Court of the land.

Three are scheduled to retire this year, while Gogoi is in line to be the next chief justice, based on seniority. We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution.

All Supreme Court judges should be involved in setting the procedures used to hire and promote judges in various courts in the country, including the high courts, they added.



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