1. Supreme Court crisis: Now, 4 retired judges shoot off open letter to CJI

Supreme Court crisis: Now, 4 retired judges shoot off open letter to CJI

Four retired judges, including an ex-Supreme Court judge, today wrote an open letter to the chief justice of India, saying they agree with the issues raised by the four apex court judges over allocation of cases and the crisis needs to be resolved "within the judiciary".

By: | New Delhi | Published: January 14, 2018 5:34 PM
supreme court crisis, sc judges revolt, sc judges mutiny, sc judges press conference, supreme court revolt, supreme court judges case, supreme court judges press conference, supreme court judges meet, chief justice of india, india judiciary, dipak misra, justice misra The letter further said that “however till that is done, it is important that all sensitive and important cases including pending ones, be dealt with by a Constitution bench of the five seniormost judges of this Court”. (PTI)

Four retired judges, including an ex-Supreme Court judge, today wrote an open letter to the chief justice of India, saying they agree with the issues raised by the four apex court judges over allocation of cases and the crisis needs to be resolved “within the judiciary”. The letter by former apex court judge P B Sawant, ex-chief justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah, former Madras High Court judge K Chandru and ex-Bombay High Court judge H Suresh was given to the media. It also went viral on social media. Justice Shah confirmed having written an open letter along with the other retired judges and told PTI, “We have written the open letter which the other judges named in the letter have also consented to.” He said that the view expressed by the retired judges is “quite similar to the views of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) that till this crisis is resolved, the important matters should be listed before a five-judge Constitution bench of senior judges”. Justice Shah said that earlier he was not sure about the consent given by the other three judges and, therefore, he initially denied having written any letter but now all of them have given consent to it. The letter quoted the judges as having said, “The four senior puisne Judges of the Supreme Court have brought to light a serious issue regarding the manner of allocation of cases, particularly sensitive cases, to various benches of the Supreme Court. “They have expressed a grave concern that cases are not being allocated in a proper manner and are being allocated arbitrarily to particular designated benches, often headed by junior judges, in an arbitrary manner. This is having a very deleterious effect on the administration of justice and the rule of law.”

The four retired judges said that they agree with the four judges of top court that though the CJI is the master of roster and can designate benches for allocation of work but this does not mean that it can be done in an “arbitrary manner” such that, “sensitive and important cases” are sent to “hand-picked benches” of junior judges by the chief justice. “This issue needs to be resolved and clear rules and norms must be laid down for allocation of benches and distribution of cases, which are rational, fair and transparent,” they said, adding that this must be done “immediately to restore public confidence” in the judiciary and in the Supreme Court. The letter further said that “however till that is done, it is important that all sensitive and important cases including pending ones, be dealt with by a Constitution bench of the five seniormost judges of this Court”.

It added, “Only such measures would assure the people that the Supreme Court is functioning in a fair and transparent manner and that the power of the Chief Justice as master of roster is not being misused to achieve a particular result in important and sensitive cases. We, therefore, urge you to take immediate steps in this regard.”

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  1. A
    aksinha
    Jan 14, 2018 at 8:45 pm
    Dear Sir, CJI is the CJI. No number of letter by sitting Judges or past judges can evaluate the CJI. Going to press or writing letters are attempts to show CJI down. No organization can function in this way if down the line everywhere resort to media for ventilating grievances whenever arising out of disagreement with the top. SCI is the highest court of appeal, why should doubt be expressed by anyone against CJI.
    Reply
    1. U Nandakumar Narath
      Jan 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm
      The prestige and stature of Judiciary should be protected. It should be unbiased, impartial, efficient and fully independent strong pillar of democracy.There should not be any scope for corruption, inefficiency, nepotism, partiality and should act as true custodian of Justice so that there is no iota of suspicion about its credibility or capacity.
      Reply
      1. A
        Ajit Singh Atri
        Jan 14, 2018 at 6:11 pm
        Sirs concerning the open letter written by 4 retired judges it is highly unfair to the present CJI in as much as only one retired from SC and remaining 3 from HCs. Having not worked with CJI it is not fair to attribute bad motive to him regarding allotment of work. At best it can be taken as a general flaw in the operative part of memo um of procedure. It is only ego.
        Reply
        1. A
          Ajit Singh Atri
          Jan 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm
          Regarding letter written by retired judg es to endorse the views of present incumbents J4, it is a meaningless interference. Only one of them is from SC and 3 are from the HC lot. At best their views describe a flaw in the procedural aspect of a court functioning and can not be said to be a negative opinion on the present CJI style of working as none of the retired lot worked as his colleague.
          Reply

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