agencies / NEW DELHI
In an unprecedented and extraordinary event in the history of Indian judiciary, four senior sitting judges of the Supreme Court today hold a press conference to accuse that the administration of the country’s apex court was not in order.
The four judges, who are the senior most after the Chief Justice – said that “things are not in order” with what they described as “the administration of the Supreme Court”.
Four senior Supreme Court judges today observed that Democracy in India is at stake, saying they went public with complaints against the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. The “rebel” judges – the four most-senior at the top court after the Chief Justice – said that “things are not in order” with what they described as “the administration of the Supreme Court”. An independent judiciary is essential for a functioning democracy, they said. Asked if they believed the Chief Justice should be impeached, they said, “Let the nation decide.”
Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph said repeated attempts to alert the Chief Justice to their concerns – including a meeting with him this morning – had failed to make any progress which is why they decided to voice their complaints publicly.
When asked if their complaints include the case of the death of a CBI judge, BH Loya, “yes” said Justice Gogoi. He however declined to elaborate.
Judge Loya was hearing a case that accused BJP president Amit Shah of murder when he died in Nagpur in December 2014. His family has alleged that his death was unnatural and came after he was offered 100 crores as a bribe to rule in favour of the BJP leader. Medical records show Judge Loya died of a cardiac arrest. Within weeks of his death, Amit Shah was acquitted.
The Supreme Court has been asked to order an independent inquiry into Jude Loya’s death. This morning, the case was assigned to a bench that does not include the four senior judges who held today’s press conference.
The Chief Justice in December was backed by four other top judges in asserting that he is the “master of the roster” and is alone authorized to allocate cases. The four judges who met the press today said that the rules make him “only the first amongst the equals, nothing more or nothing less.”
“It is an extraordinary event in the history of judiciary and more particularly in this nation, even for this institution (Supreme Court). It is with no pleasure that we have been compelled to do this.
“Administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. Many things less than desirable have happened in the last few months. We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. We tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order and remedial measures are necessary.
“Unfortunately our efforts have failed in convincing the Chief Justice of India to take steps to protect this institution,” Justice J. Chelameswar– the No.2 in the apex court hierarchy — said at a hurriedly called press conference at his residence.