New Delhi: For the very first time it has occurred in the history of the Indian judicial system that a press conference was called for by the four senior most judges of the supreme court and targeted the Chief Justice of India’s style of administration. A few minutes after this Press Conference, J Chelameswar, one of the four senior most judges was given a special visit by D Raja, a communist party leader which created a new stir. This meeting has kindled a new topic of discussion overall with the social media taking centre stage. The former judges as well as renowned legal experts have put forth to the public to not make this a political issue.
Only a short while after the news of this unexpected shocking press conference was out, a new issue of a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and MP D Raja’s presence at Justice J Chelameswar’s residence sparked a controversy. Both Justice J Chelameswar and MP D Raja spoke for about 20 minutes, this has been published by one of the news agencies. News channel reporters have raised questions as to what happened during that meeting, before D Raja. While replying to them, D Raja offered the explanation that he had gone to Justice Chelameswar’s house to enquire for the reason behind the entire episode.
One of the journalists further questioned him if his presence at the judge’s house and his motives could be considered a political interference into the judiciary system. He indirectly replied to this question and said, “Being a member of the Parliament, it is my right to know about the problems of the judges.” However, he evaded the question altogether when further asked if he was appointed by the parliament for this task. D Raja appealed to the news channels to not connect his meeting with Justice J Chelameswar politically. He further said that the judges of the Supreme court held a press conference and took an extreme step by putting forth their grievances in front of the public. This has become an issue of concern. The future of our country and its democracy is connected with this issue. As I believed it was important to understand the issue, I visited Justice Chelameswar, said D Raja. Nevertheless, he has not disclosed the conversation between him and Justice Chelameswar.
Meanwhile, in the press conference held a short while before their meeting, the Supreme court judges Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph along with Justice Chelameswar, disapproved the management of the supreme court for the past two months. The Chief Justice of India (CJI) assigns Supreme Court cases to a particular bench of judges. These judges alleged that Chief Justice Dipak Mishra assigned the cases by being partial and assigned cases to select benches of his choice.
The allocation of cases to the judges in the above manner by putting aside all criteria is completely wrong. This can affect the decisions of the cases affecting the future of our country, with these statements the senior most judges revolted against the Chief Justice of India. The four judges further said that we had sent a letter regarding this matter to Chief Justice Dipak Mishra but there being no response from him, we decided to lay this matter out in front of the public. We are not to be held responsible if these wrong practices become a trend in the future. We took these measures to present a clear picture, said the four judges.
The former Supreme Court judges and respected legal experts have expressed their dissatisfaction regarding this press conference. They said that such an act had never occurred in the history of Indian judiciary system. Also, these four senior most judges had many other ways to resolve their matter. Besides the Chief Justice has complete authority to select the bench. They also expressed that it would be unwise for such jurisdictional matter to be made a political issue.
After the press conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a meeting with Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and senior officers. However, the government has stated that the central government will not interfere with this matter pertaining to the judicial system. For which the opposition party claims that this matter arose because of the government’s interference in the past.