In an unprecedented move, four top Supreme Court judges have come out in open sharply criticising the way in which the judicial appointments are being made and selective distribution of cases is being done in a skewed fashion and when they intimated their grievances to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, he acted in a partisan manner.
In the first ever new conference by sitting judges, They warned that democracy is under threat.
The Supreme Court’s four senior-most judges – Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph – said that the administration of the Apex court ” is not in order”
In a letter to the Chief Justice that was made public, the four judges underlined that an independent judiciary is essential for a functioning democracy. “We don’t want wise men saying 20 years from now that Justice Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph sold their souls and didn’t do the right thing by our Constitution,” Justice Chelameswar said.
The most significant thing in their grievances was the selective assignment of cases in the Supreme Court to the benches of their preference without any rational basis for such assignment. The Honnourable judges even went on to record in their letter that there are other matters which they will raise later.
Their main aim is to preserve the independence and integrity of Judiciary which is the pillar of the democracy. In other words, the doctrine of Separation of Powers has been implicitly recognised by the Indian Constitution. .They has also pointed out that this debate is being addressed to the nation and not the government. This comes as a big embarrassment to the BJP ruled government at the centre. The Honourable Judges have also specifically highlighted The long silence of the Government of India to the Memorandum of Procedure that was finalised by the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 27 failed to comprehend the spirit of the Constitution while “describing the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive as the members of the same family.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi stated “important issues have been raised by the four Supreme Court judges. This has never happened before…Even Justice Loya’s death needs to be investigated properly by the apex court judges. All citizens who love the idea of justice are looking at this issue and it needs to be addressed.”
Meanwhile, the Honourable Judges referred to the PIL concerning the death of Judge Loya, which the family of Judge Loya believes was under suspicious circumstances. judge B. Loya, who died in December 2014 who was hearing case that accused Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah of ordering extrajudicial killings when he served as home minister under Modi in the state of Gujarat. Shah has since been acquitted of those charges.
In September Justice Jayant Patel resigned as a judge of the Karnataka high court .Justice Patel directed a CBI investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case (when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat)when he was the acting chief justice of the Gujarat high court. Another Justice CS Karnan was the first sitting high court judge in India to face a jail term.The former judge was found guilty of making allegations against fellow judges
The incident will have far reaching consequences as it will damage the reputation of India as a functioning democracy.