Former senior judges join criticism of India's Chief Justice

Former senior judges join criticism of India's Chief Justice

India's Supreme Court, ostensibly the world's most powerful judicial institution, is in the grip of a crisis following its four senior-most judges' public disapproval of the manner in which Chief Justice Dipak Misra distribute work among the judges.

BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, who led a seven-member delegation and held hectic parleys with 15 judges including the CJI yesterday, said the controversial issues flagged by the four revolting judges were "internal issues of the family" which have been resolved internally.

Quoting sources, an Indian Express report said that the four judges - Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - felt the CJI had "nothing to offer", at least for now. It became public after a fairly politicised case was assigned to Justice Arun Mishra, relatively junior to them and at number 10 in the judges' hierarchy at the apex court. Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh said that there was a likelihood of the crisis being resolved by the end of this week.

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The R P Luthra case, however, was later listed before a three-judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra on November 8 a year ago, which recalled the October 27 order of two-judge bench on examining the issue of delay in finalisation of MoP. "Our efforts have failed in convincing CJI to take steps to protect the institution". The brief meeting, however, was not considered sufficient to reach complete understanding on all the issues which have caused the rift between the CJI and the four puisne judges. "Now everything has been settled", Venugopal said, describing the development since January 12 as "a storm in a tea cup".

"It is learnt from reliable sources that the CBI officers went to the CJI on September 6, 2017 with conclusive evidence regarding Justice Shukla's involvement in the conspiracy for receiving gratification worth at least one crore". What Nandakumar has ignored is that the objective of this charter is to serve as a guide for ensuring an "independent, strong and respected judiciary, indispensable in the impartial administration of justice". Indian judiciary is the last ray of hope for the common man amidst political chaos and instability and people still have an huge amount of faith in the high standard of the Supreme Court. We met CJI this morning, with a specific request but we could not convince him. Justice Mishra reportedly claimed that he had been performing his duties sincerely, despite his failing health.

J Nandakumar, All India Executive Committee Member of the RSS, has accused the four judges of "poisoning the waters", alleging that their act of addressing the media was "a ideal political conspiracy".

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