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Supreme Court judges vs CJI: Bar Council requests not to politicise matter, SC Bar Association cites ‘grave concern’

Bar Council of India says it is “most unfortunate” that four senior judges sent a message that all was not well with the Supreme Court, and adds the issue should have been “sorted out internally”.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2018 19:27 IST
Agencies
Agencies
New Delhi
Bar Coucil of India,Supreme Court,SC judges press conference
Bar Council chairman Manan Kumar Mishra speaks to the media on Saturday.(ANI Photo/Twitter)

The Bar Council of India said on Saturday it had decided to form a seven-member delegation that will meet Supreme Court judges in the wake of a crisis in the top judiciary after the public criticism of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by four senior judges.

Bar Council chairman Manan Kumar Mishra welcomed the government’s stand not to interfere and urged parties to refrain from politicising the issue, news agency ANI reported. After a meeting on Saturday evening, Mishra said the council wanted an early solution.

It was “most unfortunate” that four senior judges sent a message that all was not well with the Supreme Court, he had said earlier, and added the issue should have been “sorted out internally”.

The Supreme Court Bar Association, for its part, passed a resolution saying differences between the four judges and CJI Misra should be considered by a full bench of the top court. The association said it was of the view that all PILs should be looked into by the CJI or senior judges in the collegium, according to news agency PTI.

SCBA president Vikas Singh said: “If required, we will seek an appointment from the CJI and other judges to talk about the developments which are a matter of grave concern.”

In an unprecedented move, Justices Kurian Joseph, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and J Chelameswar held a press conference on Friday where they questioned “selective” case allocation and certain judicial orders.

They accused the Chief Justice of not strictly adhering to the rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, which they said could create “doubts” about the integrity of the top court.

Speaking to the media at the residence of Justice Chelameswar, the judges said the apex court’s administration was “not in order”, and released an undated letter they wrote to Justice Misra in which they conceded that the CJI was the “master of the roster” but this was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual, of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.

Soon after, the Congress, led by its president Rahul Gandhi, held a press conference where the party demanded a probe into the concerns raised by the judges. The ruling BJP has refrained from speaking on the issue, calling it an “internal matter of the apex court”, and hit out at the Congress for using it to gain “political mileage”.

First Published: Jan 13, 2018 18:44 IST