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Bar Council of India terms SC judges' attack on CJI 'unfortunate'

Senior judges of the Supreme Court on Saturday had mounted a virtual revolt against the country's chief justice.

Bar Council of India terms SC judges' attack on CJI 'unfortunate'
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New Delhi: A day after four senior judges of the Supreme Court mounted a virtual revolt against the country's chief justice, the Bar Council of India said on Saturday that the matter should be resolved at the earliest.

"We have unanimously decided to form a seven-member delegation of the council who will meet honourable judges of the Supreme Court. We want that the matter be solved at the earliest," Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman, BCI said. 

"As far as MOP is concerned, it must be finalised at the earliest in a proper manner. We will write a letter to the government for the same but is not that big a matter to be brought in public," he added.

Mishra further said, "We've given an opportunity to political parties to talk about our judiciary, it's unfortunate. Prime Minister and law minister had said yesterday itself that it is judiciary's internal matter and the government won't be interfering in the matter and we appreciate the government's stand," as per ANI.

Four judges of the apex court had on Friday raised questions on 'selective' case allocation and certain judicial orders. Justice J Chelameswar, the second senior judge after Chief Justice Dipak Misra, himself had described as an "extraordinary event" in the annals of the Indian judiciary when the judges addressed a joint news conference during which he had said "sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months."

The judge had accused Justice Misra of not taking any "remedial measures" on some of the issues which affected the functioning of the apex court that they had raised. Justice Misra became the CJI on August 28, 2017, and he is due to retire from on October 2 this year.

Unless this institution is preserved, "democracy will not survive" in this country, Justice Chelameswar had said at the unscheduled press conference. The presser was held at his residence.

He was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph at the press conference. The CJI and the four judges comprise the Supreme Court collegium that selects judges for the higher judiciary.

Justice Chelameswar had also said that all the four judges "failed to persuade CJI that certain things are not in order and therefore you should take remedial measures. Unfortunately, our efforts failed."

Asked what these issues were, he had said they included the "allocation of cases by CJI", and had added, "we owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. Our efforts have failed in convincing CJI to take steps to protect the institution."

Asked whether they wanted the Chief Justice to be impeached, he had said, "let the nation decide," PTI reported.

The four judges, in their seven-page letter to the CJI, had said, "It is with great anguish and concern that we have thought it proper to address this letter to you so as to highlight certain judicial orders passed by this court which has adversely affected the overall functioning of the justice delivering system and the independence of the high courts besides impacting the administrative functioning of the office of the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India."

The letter, that was released to the press, was sent a couple of months back, Justice Chelameswar had said.

The letter had also said that there have been instances where cases having "far-reaching consequences for the nation" and the institution have been assigned by the chief justices of this court "selectively to the benches 'of their preference' without any rationale basis" for such assignment. 

"We are not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged the image of this institution to some extent," it had added.

(With Agency inputs)