With four senior Supreme Court judges today launching a diatribe against Chief Justice Dipak Misra, former Bombay High Court judges said the dignity of the judiciary should be maintained in such trying times. The joint news conference by the four judges, including Justice J Chelameswar, the second senior judge after the chief justice of India, was an unprecedented move and left the judiciary stunned. Reacting to the apex court judges’ media briefing and their allegations, retired Bombay High Court chief justice Manjula Chellur said something must have triggered the four judges to go public with their claims. “These situations are difficult. But what needs to be kept in mind is that this is not about just individuals. This is about the institution in totality,” Chellur told PTI. “All steps must be taken to ensure that the dignity of the judiciary is held high. Courts are the last place the public goes to resolve their disputes and problems,” she said. “I am sure Attorney General K K Venugopal and the Union law minister and others concerned will take into consideration all the factors and take a suitable decision,” Chellur, who retired last month, said.
Ex-high court judge V G Palshikar termed the top court judges’ allegations as an “unprecedented move” and said they should have refrained from going public. “This is a black day in the history of courts. This should not have happened. There was no need to go to the public. They (four judges) should have raised these issues in a chamber meeting in the Supreme Court. We will now have to see what the chief justice of India does,” he said.
Anoop Mohta, who retired from the high court last month, said the four judges have created history. “This is like a volcano erupting. Such a thing has never happened,” Mohta said, adding courts do not appreciate even when lawyers appear before the media with comments and opinions on the working of the judiciary.
Ex-high court judge Pramod Kode said this was a very serious issue. “I hope all appropriate steps are taken to maintain the dignity of the judiciary,” Kode said. He had heard the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case as the trial court judge.