Four Indian Supreme Court judges see democracy in danger

Four Indian Supreme Court judges see democracy in danger

Four Indian Supreme Court judges see democracy in danger

Four senior Indian supreme court judges have gone public with an extraordinary warning that India's chief justice is mishandling sensitive cases and endangering the court's integrity and the country's democracy. All four judges - Justices Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph are known to be "sober and responsible" and have done what they did because there was no other way to stem the rot in the system. "We collectively tried to persuade CJI that certain things aren't in order so take remedial measures, but unfortunately our efforts failed", said Justice Chelameswar.

"Looking at its own flaws is the first step to correcting an institution, to deepening true constitutional democracy", said Karuna Nundy, a Supreme Court lawyer. The legal fraternity said they were "pained" and "sad" at the outcome of events in the country's highest court. Had he been elevated at the right time, he would be in line for holding the office of the chief justice instead of just serving six years as a junior judge. If past events are any guide, the government will unlikely get drawn into this, citing the judiciary's independence.

The apex court is hearing two PILs seeking an independent investigation into circumstances leading to Loya's death in Nagpur where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter. We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution. "And all four of us are convinced that democracy is at stake and many things have happened in recent past", he said. When the Memorandum of Procedure was the subject matter of a decision of a Constitution Bench of this Court in Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and Anr. vs. Union of India [(2016) 5 SCC 1] it is hard to understand as to how any other Bench could have dealt with the matter. They had accused Misra of "selectively" allocating cases to benches among other things, which they claimed, adversely affected the judiciary and threatened democracy. "I think all four judges should be impeached".

As the Press conference progressed it became clear that the PIL relating to independent probe into Judge BH Loya's death was one of the points of contention between the CJI and the four senior judges.

Four senior judges of India's Supreme Court have complained publicly about the way the court is being run and cases are assigned.

Subsequent to this, detailed discussions were held by the collegium of five judges, including CJI, and the MoP was finalised and sent by the then CJI to the government in March 2017.

In a very brief press conference held by Congress President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi, Gandhi said that senior judges of the S.C. coming out to address their grievances is a very serious matter. He said that Nehru's daughter, former PM Indira Gandhi, however breached the convention of seniority when she appointed Justice AN Ray appointed as Chief Justice of India, superseding three Judges senior to him.

The Supreme Court is now hearing a plea to investigate Loya's death, local media said. From now on every common man could look at all judicial order with suspicion.

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