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Press meet by four SC judges could have been avoided: AG Venugopal

Attorney General KK Venugopal on  Friday expressed hope that issues affecting the apex court would be resolved very soon.

Press meet by four SC judges could have been avoided: AG Venugopal

New Delhi: Attorney General KK Venugopal on Friday said that the four senior-most judges could have avoided addressing a press conference on their differences with the Chief Justice but expressed confidence that the entire issue would be resolved very soon.

''Today's press conference could have been avoided, but the Supreme Court judges are all statesman with vast experience and knowledge, and I am sure by tomorrow, the entire issue would be resolved,''Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal told ANI.

Venugopal, however, admitted that the accusations made by the four sitting apex court judges openly before the electronic media will seriously affect public confidence in the court.

The reactions from the Attorney General came shortly after the four apex court judges - Justice Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph - held a press conference this morning and said that “things are not in order” at the Supreme Court. 

Addressing the media, the senior-most judges launched a sharp attack on Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra for “ignoring the concerns voiced by them”.

“Administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. Many things less than desirable have happened in the last few months. We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation,” Justice Chelameswar said.

Justice J Chelameshwar said that the four judges were compelled to act in this way because Chief Justice Mishra could not be persuaded to mend the ways of the court.

"We met CJI this morning. We collectively tried to persuade CJI that certain things aren't in order, so take some remedial measures, but unfortunately, our efforts failed," said Justice Chelameswar.

"The four of us gave a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) some months ago," the justices revealed.

In a letter released subsequently, they highlighted that rules are often not followed when cases are being allocated and that departure from rules will hurt the integrity of the top court.

They also accused that cases with far-reaching consequences are being assigned selectively.

Asked if they want the CJI to be impeached, the judges said that they are not implying it and that it is for the nation to decide.

Justice J Chelameswar, however, added that democracy comes under threat if judiciary loses its freedom.

Moments after their press conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi summoned Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss the matter at hand.

Their allegations evoked sharp reactions from a divided legal fraternity of the country with some supporting their cause and others chiding them for immature and childish behaviour. 

(With Agency inputs)