SC dismisses 10-year-old contempt cases against PCO judges

  • SC dismisses 10-year-old contempt cases against PCO judges

SC dismisses 10-year-old contempt cases against PCO judges

One of the four senior judges of the SC, Justice Jasti Chelameswar, said: "Democracy can not survive without free judiciary".

"There have been instances where cases having far-reaching consequences for nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justices of this court selectively to the "benches of their preference" without any rationale basis for such as assignment...", their letter to CJI said.

The four justices at Friday's news conference - Chelameswar plus Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph - are the most senior after Misra. "Unless the institution of Supreme Court is preserved, democracy won't survive in this or in any country if these remedial measures are not put in place".

The responses coming in from over the various quarters are falling in every spectrum of morality, while the justices urged the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter urgently.

The Supreme Court has 25 judges appointed by India's president, including the chief justice, and each retires at the age of 65, the court says on its website.

The CPI (M) meanwhile said the integrity and independence of the judiciary, is a vital pillar of the Constitution and non-negotiable.

There are a string of such cases that could be called into question, the latest being the case seeking a probe into the death of Maharashtra judge Brijgopal Loya. We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. Even this morning, on a particular issue, we, four of us, went and met the Chief Justice with a specific request. Logically, this is an internal matter of the judiciary, one that is best settled through deliberations in a full court meeting of all the Supreme Court judges themselves. "The CJ has passed an order saying that this matter will be listed after two weeks before a bench to be nominated by the Chief Justice". "I think it is extremely serious and needs to be looked into carefully". He preferred the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) to the Collegium system which would comprise the Chief Justice of India, the two most senior judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister, and two "eminent persons". It was the first ever such where four of the country's most senior judges aired their grievances against the Chief Justice of India so publicly, openly. That four senior Supreme Court judges could have been pushed to take such a drastic and unprecedented step suggests that the differences were allowed to fester and divisions allowed to run deep. The Congress also asked that the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court should hear the petition that sought an inquiry into the death of Judge Brij Gopal Loya in 2014.

The four judges now termed as "rebel judges" observed that things are not in order in the highest judiciary and in the administration of the Supreme Court such as allocation of cases to suppliant judges without due consultation or consensus with fellow judges merely because the CJI is the master of the roster. "Democracy will not survive without a free judiciary".

The Indian supreme court is larger than its United Kingdom or USA counterparts, accommodating up to 31 members whose ranks frequently change as judges choose to leave or reach the mandatory retirement age of 65. And Prashant Bhushan the lawyer and politician said CJI Dipak is misusing his power and this must have to stop because it is risky for our democracy.

█ █ The judiciary is the sanctuary of the common man.