Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Don't Politicise: BJP's "Advice" To Rahul Gandhi On Rift In Judiciary

Don't Politicise: BJP's

He demanded that the Justice BH Loya death case, the immediate trigger for the judges' outburst, should be heard by the highest level of the Supreme Court.

All Supreme Court judges should be involved in setting the procedures used to hire and promote judges in all the country's courts, they added. "Extreme interference of central government with judiciary is risky for democracy", she said.

The judges were annoyed about the "Medical College Admissions Scam" case being sent to court number 7 after a Justice Chelameswar headed bench sent it to a five-judge bench of himself, the CJI and Justices Lokur, Joseph and Gogoi. The case of Loya's death and the circumstances thereafter concerned citizens to ask for an independent investigation supervised by the apex court.

A note caution sounded by the four judges was, "Four of us have been telling the CJI Dipak Misra to correct his ways for the sake of the institution. But sometimes adminstration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months", he said.

Conventionally, it is the outgoing CJI who recommends to the President of India the name of the senior-most judge for appointment as his successor.

Justice Gogoi said "nobody is breaking the rank and it is discharge of debt to nation which we have done". We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution.

But after Friday's attack on Misra by a group of four judges, including Gogoi, questions are being asked whether the latter has hurt his prospects of being made the CJI.

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On October 27, a bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit had issued notice to the Centre saying, "We need to consider the prayer that there should be no further delay in finalisation of MoP in larger public interest".

Led by judge Jasti Chelameswar, they delivered an unprecedented message to the journalists gathered in Delhi: that the conduct of India's highest court was "not in order" and that "unless this institution is preserved, democracy can't be protected in this country".

The main issue appeared to be the assignment of cases by the CJI in the Supreme Court.

While crying ourselves hoarse over the opaqueness with which the Collegium operates, can we, at the same time, criticize them for attempting to be transparent about how the institution is functioning?

Holding that the chief justice was only the first among equals, the four judges contended that there were well-settled and time-honoured conventions guiding the chief justice in dealing with the strength of the bench required or the composition thereof. However, Justice Chelameswar was sworn in after the current Chief Justice Dipak Misra, despite being senior; thereby, robbing him of the chance to become the Chief Justice.

"All of us are convinced that unless this institution is protected and maintain its requirements, democracy will not survive in the country or any country".

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