A day after four Supreme Court judges held an unprecedented press conference making allegations against the Chief Justice of India, the Bar Council of India today lashed out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other politicians for their apparent attempts to politicise the whole issue. “We’ve given an opportunity to Rahul Gandhi and political parties to talk about our judiciary. It is unfortunate. On behalf of Bar Council of India, I request him and other political parties to not politicise the matter,” Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman, Bar Council of India said today.
Mishra said Bar association has unanimously decided to form a seven-member delegation of the Council, who will meet judges of the Supreme Court. “We want that the matter be solved at the earliest,” he said. The Bar association chief welcomed the decision of the government to not interfere in the “internal” matter of the judiciary. “Prime Minister and law minister had said yesterday itself that it is judiciary’s internal matter and govt won’t be interfering in the matter, and we appreciate the government’s stand,” he said.
Supreme Court Bar Association today called an Emergency meeting. “We called an emergency meeting of Supreme Court Bar Association. We resolved the following: Differences stated by the 4 judges and reflected in media are of grave concern and must be resolved immediately by SC Bar Association,” Vikas Singh, President of Supreme Court bar Association told reporters.
“Another resolution taken was that all PIL matters must be taken by CJI or must be assigned to the collegium of five judges. This must be done in order to maintain credibility of Supreme Court,” Singh ruther said, adding the SCBA will send the unanimous resolution to the Chief Justice of India soon. “We want that the matter be resolved as soon as possible. The first meeting of SCBA will be done with the Chief Justice of India. If he agrees to our views, we will take further appointment from the other judges too and fix a meeting with them,” Singh said.
On Friday, four senior most judges of the Supreme Court had called a press conference and alleged the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place. Unless this institution is preserved, “democracy will not survive” in this country, the four judges said.
The second senior judge after the Chief Justice of India, Justice J Chelameswar, 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”.
Justice Chelameswar was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. “This is an extraordinary event in the history of any nation, more particularly this nation and an extraordinary event in the institution of judiciary … It is with no pleasure that we are compelled to call this press conference. But sometimes adminstration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months,” justice Chelameshwar said.
Soon after the press conference, political activities intensified in the national Capital. CPI(M) leder D Raja went to meet Justice Chelameshwar at his residence. Congress president Rahul Gandhi also held a press conference and made his comments on the matter.
“I think the points that have been raised by the four judges are extremely important. They have mentioned there is a threat to democracy. It needs to be looked into carefully. They also made a point about judge Loya’s case. I think that is also something that needs to be investigated properly. It needs to be looked at from the highest level of the Supreme Court,” Gandhi said.
Former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde has, however, “wholly” condemned the action of four senior judges in going public over internal matters of the judiciary. He today said this has affected the reputation of the institution and may amount to contempt of court.