New Delhi: 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.”
In the unprecedented press conference held at his residence in New Delhi, Justice J. Chelameswar, who is the top Court’s second-most senior Judge after the CJI, said: “We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. Our efforts have failed in convincing the Chief Justice to take steps to protect the institution.”
He acknowledged that it was “an extraordinary event” in the history of any nation. “There is no pleasure in this, we were compelled to do this, the administration of the Supreme Court is not in order,” said the senior Judge.
Speaking on behalf of the four Judges, Justice Chelameswar expressed his lament over the corrosion and compromise taking place within the institution of the judiciary and especially within the portals of the SC.
The other three Judges by his side were Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph. All four had written to the CJI earlier, Justice Chelameswar said. It is very unusual for serving SC Judges to interact with the media.
“Even this morning, the four of us went and met the Chief Justice and tried to persuade him to accept that certain things are not in order and that he should take remedial measures. Unfortunately, we couldn’t convince him. We all (four judges) are convinced that unless this institution is preserved and (is allowed to) maintain its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country or any country,” Justice Chelameswar added.
“The hallmark of a good democracy is an independent and impartial judge. The judge is symbolic here, it is an institution,” he said.