The recent development of four senior judges of the Supreme Court holding a press conference and publicly accusing the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra of selectively assigning cases to judges of his choice without any rational basis is shocking and demands immediate attention.
In the world‚Äôs largest democracy,where the Judiciary enjoys the highest esteem and power,such an incident is unfortunate. It brings to light the internal differences in the system. Understandably, the grievances of the judges were far more deeper and hence were brought forward in this particular way. Justices J. Chelameswar,Ranjan Gogoi,Mandan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph-the senior most judges after the CJI,have alleged Justice Misra of misusing his administrative powers to assign cases ‚Äúselectively‚Äù,disregarding conventions on allocation of judicial work. Such issues are best settled through deliberations among all the Supreme Court judges, logically .
Outbreak of a conflict as this is highly regrettable. It highlights a major flaw that poses a threat to democracy- difference of opinions that could not be settled through debate and dialogue. The present government has sidelined itself from the issue. ‚ÄúOur judiciary is reputed all over the world as independent and they will sort out the matter themselves.‚Äù, said Minister of State for Law P.P Chaudhary while from the opposition, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that the issues raised by the judges are ‚Äúextremely important and need to be addressed‚Äù.
The Bar Council of India has formed a seven-member team to meet other judges of Supreme Court and has strongly disapproved of the press conference called by the judges. It has said that such issues need to be resolved “quickly and peacefully”.
The only legitimate as well as sensible solution to the incident that has took place will be the conduct of a meeting of the entire court called by the Chief Justice, wherein the concerns of the four judges are addressed and are settled so that a situation as this does not arise in the future again. An internal conflict in the major organ of democracy, the Judiciary is a serious issue, the earlier it is settled, the better. Not only are the issues raised by the Judges a major area of consideration, but also the risk of the image of the Judiciary getting diminished is of grave concern.