Is crisis within SC over? CJI Dipak Misra likely to meet four 'rebel' judges today

 During today's meeting, the top court judges will try to resolve issues relating to the allocation of cases and the functioning of the highest court.

Is crisis within SC over? CJI Dipak Misra likely to meet four 'rebel' judges today

New Delhi: Days after four rebel Supreme Court judges - Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph – openly complained about the alleged faulty administration of the highest court, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra is expected to meet them on Thursday with an aim to resolve the crisis within the Indian judiciary.

According to reports, during today's meeting, the top court judges will try to resolve issues relating to the allocation of cases and the functioning of the highest court.

CJI's meeting with the four rebel judges was initially scheduled for Wednesday but it did not materialise as Justice Chelameswar did not attend the court because of his indisposition. 

Justice Chelameswar is expected to attend the court today.

In an unprecedented and historic move, the four top court judges have addressed a press conference and blamed the CJI for bias in allocation of cases and the overall functioning of the highest court.

The four judges also said that important cases were being listed before judges who are relatively junior to them in terms of years spent in the top court.

The issues raised by the four judges evoked a mixed response from the legal fraternity with some siding with them while others criticising them for going public regarding the problems in the top court, saying it will have long-term consequences. 

However, an unexpected truce was reached on Tuesday after the CJI reached out to the four dissenting judges to resolve a rift with them over the allocation of cases in the Supreme Court.

Moreover, the recusal of Justice Arun Mishra from hearing the matter of Special CBI Judge BH Loya's death was also seen by some as an indication of a thaw between the CJI and the warring judges.

During the Tuesday meeting, the sources had said, Justice Misra and the rebel judges had discussed all the outstanding issues, the point of contentions and differences.

The sources said the Chief Justice took the initiative of meeting the four judges on January 16 as they were not satisfied with the outcome of a meeting of all judges held the previous day.

On January 15, a misplaced impression was generated that all the issues were resolved after Attorney General KK Venugopal had said that the events since January 12 were a "storm in a tea cup" and that "everything is settled".

"There was an informal meeting in the morning (before the commencement of the court). Now everything has been settled," Venugopal told the media, describing the developments in the top court since January 12, 2018, as "a storm in a teacup," the Attorney General said.

Earlier on Monday, an informal full court meeting of all the judges took place when they came to the Judges' lounge for the customary morning tea before the start of the court.

The country's top court was hit by the unprecedented crisis, after the four senior-most judges, at a press conference, last week expressed their unhappiness about the functioning of the court and how cases were being allocated arbitrarily.

They complained that "administration of Supreme Court is not in order and there have been things less than desirable that have happened in the court".

The judges also released a letter they had written to the Chief Justice questioning how he was arbitrarily deciding which bench should decide which case and though he is the "master of the roster" that did not make him a "superior authority".

"The Chief Justice is only the first amongst equals - nothing more or nothing less," the letter said.

Serious efforts were later made by several sitting judges and advocate bodies to mediate a solution to the crisis have not succeeded.

The Bar Council of India had even set up a seven-member delegation and met Justice Misra and 14 other judges on Sunday. The Supreme Court Bar Association also met the Chief Justice and other judges.

With IANS inputs

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