Justice Chelameswar declines to comment on Supreme Court crisis

In the speech after the release of the book titled ‘Supreme Court Of India, The Beginning’, Justice Chelameswar said for the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial judiciary is essential.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 21:50 IST
Agencies, New Delhi
Supreme Court,SC crisis,Justice Chelameswar
Justice Chelameswar during a press conference in New Delhi on January 12. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Days after he and three other senior Supreme Court judges revolted against Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J Chelameswar on Monday declined to say if the unprecedented crisis hitting the top court was over.

“This is not the place or the time for me to speak (on the issue),” Justice Chelameswar told the media with folded hands at a book launch in New Delhi.

Chelameswar, who was away from the national capital since Friday and resumed holding of the court from Monday, did not accept any questions from scribes on the progress of resolving the deadlock.

Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph had held an unprecedented press conference on January 12 and raised a litany of issues pertaining to the administration of the top court, including the allotment of sensitive cases.

Justice Lokur was also present at the book release function but did not address the gathering. After the function, he quietly left the venue as the mediapersons gathered around Justice Chelameswar.

The book release function was also attended by politicians such as Salman Khurshid, Jairam Ramesh and advocate Prashant Bhushan.

In the speech after the release of the book titled ‘Supreme Court Of India, The Beginning’, Justice Chelameswar said for the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial judiciary is essential. While stressing the need for a study of the Supreme Court as an institution, he said that the decisions made by the apex court touched the lives of the entire population.

“For the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial and independent judiciary is essential, without which liberal democracy will not flourish,” Justice Chelameswar said.

He further said there was a need for a solution to clear the backlog of cases in the higher judiciary, adding that the problem was real.

“The enormous jurisdiction which the Supreme Court is conferred by the Constitution, coupled with the eagerness of the court to do complete justice created a huge amount of arrears on this court. The backlog appears to be huge, impossible to be cleared. “A solution must be found if the institution is to remain relevant. The problem is real. Ways and means for solving the problem must be devised,” Justice Chelameswar said.

The book, penned by George H Gadbois, JR is edited and introduced by Vikram Raghavan and Vasujith Ram.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 21:32 IST