Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra met the four dissenting judges – J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — for the second time on Thursday. The meeting, which only involved CJI Misra and four other judges, lasted around 10-15 minutes. The usual court proceedings resumed at 10:30 am, a court source was quoted as saying by PTI. In a related development, the apex court refused to entertain a plea seeking to restrain the media from “publishing, discussing and politicising issues” raised by four senior-most judges in the January 12 press conference.
A Supreme Court-bench, headed by the CJI, said it will look into the matter only after the apex court Registry takes the petition on record and lists it for hearing. The plea demanded to urgently restrict media from reporting the issue related to the controversy. The plea mentioned urgent listing and hearing. The plea sought to restrain “the printing, discussion, politicisation and debate on the subject matter of the press conference dated January 12 with immediate effect to control further damage to the institution”.
CJI Misra and the judges had held brief talk on Tuesday but there were reportedly not able to call it a truce. The Indian Express reported sources as saying that the three other judges — Justices A K Sikri, D Y Chandrachud, A M Khanwilkar — took the initiative to bring the CJI and the four judges together for talks. The three judges remained present throughout the meeting, sources further told IE. However, they were reportedly absent from today’s meeting.
Despite the optimism from the stakeholders, the crisis in the Supreme Court is yet far from over. On Tuesday, Attorney General K K Venugopal had said the crisis will be settled soon. He said: “I think it (crisis) has not been settled. Let’s hope things will be fully settled within 2-3 days.” While on Monday, Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, had said the crisis has ended and there is no dispute now. Also, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Vikas Singh had expressed confidence that there was a likelihood of the crisis being resolved by the end of this week.
In another significant meet, CJI Misra had met a seven-member delegation of the Bar Council of India. After the meeting, Singh had said the crisis would be sorted out soon.
A major controversy had erupted after the four Supreme Court Justices called an unprecedented Press Conference last Friday, and lashed out at CJI Dipak Misra. The four judges, senior-most after the chief justice, alleged administerial wrongdoings in the top court’s functioning.