Justice Chelameswar absent, rift in Supreme Court remains unresolved
According to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified, the second meeting is expected to take place on Thursday.india Updated: Jan 18, 2018 09:25 IST
The rift between Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court remained unresolved on Wednesday, with Justice J Chelameswar not attending court.
His absence resulted in the cancellation of the second meeting between the CJI and the judges.
The four judges — Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph — met the CJI on Tuesday morning over tea for 15 minutes. The meeting was attended by three more judges who had facilitated it: Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and UU Lalit. Since the meeting was inconclusive, the CJI and the judges agreed to meet again on Wednesday.
However, Justices Bobde and Lalit too did not attend court on Wednesday.
According to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified, the second meeting is expected to take place on Thursday. The people added that the four judges are expected to hand over a list of their grievances to the CJI in writing. The CJI has reportedly assured them that he will resolve the dispute to their satisfaction.
In an unprecedented move the four judges aired their grievances over the CJI’s handling of the court (especially over case allocation and bench constitution, with sensitive cases allegedly being allocated to junior judges) in a press conference.
The tipping point seems to have been the marking of petitions relating to Judge BH Loya’s mysterious death to a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra who is 10th senior judge in the court. It was listed the same day the judges held the press meet. Justice Mishra reportedly broke down on Monday when the judges assembled for the morning tea. He expressed his anguish at the way his name had been dragged into the controversy and said the showdown had tarnished his image and credibility.
On Wednesday, Justice Mishra seemed to be in a lighter mood. Seeing the crowd in his courtroom, he remarked: “Why is there so much crowd here, I am a junior judge, why don’t people go to some senior judges’ court?”