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Must constantly study how institution is functioning, says Justice Chelameswar

Ten days ago, in their unprecedented press conference, Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, the four most senior judges of the Supreme Court, had questioned the conduct of CJI Justice Dipak Misra, especially over allocation of cases.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Updated: January 23, 2018 7:31 am
justice j chelameswar, supreme court, constitution of india, supreme court, sc judges crisis, dipak misra, cji, justice ranjan gogoi, kurian joseph, powers of cji, indian express Justice J Chelameswar at the book launch in New Delhi, Monday. (Photo: Anil Sharma)

IN HIS first public appearance after the dramatic press conference in which he and three other senior judges of the Supreme Court questioned the conduct of the Chief Justice of India, Justice Jasti Chelameswar said Monday that one “must constantly keep analysing and examining how exactly the institution is functioning”, and its achievements and failures.

Speaking at the launch of the book Supreme Court of India — The beginnings, Justice Chelameswar said: “I believe, and I am sure, each one of those present in the gathering believe that for the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial and independent judiciary is essential, without which, I don’t think, liberal democracy can flourish.”

Also Read | Constitutional values must be core of all policy: Justice J Chelameswar

Referring to the book, written by the late Prof George H Gadbois Jr from the University of Kentucky in the US, Justice Chelameswar said: “This book… made a study of the foundations of the Supreme Court of India, the functioning of the approximately the first two decades of its existence. Those of us who are interested in sustaining and improving the institution for the welfare of the people of this country need a greater study for the remaining period. This must be an ongoing process. You must constantly keep analysing and examining, how exactly the institution is functioning, and what are all the achievements and what are all its failures. It is a matter, which requires constant examination.”

Justice Madan B Lokur, who was also present along with Justice Chelameswar at the press conference on January 12, was a part of the audience.

Unprecedented chaos in judiciary as top SC judges revolt in public against CJI Dipak Misra Supreme court judge Justice Jasti Chelameswar, Justice Kurian Joseph. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)

Referring to “various aspects of the Supreme Court discussed in the book”, Justice Chelameswar said: “The Supreme Court of India is not a superintending court over the entire judiciary of this country. At least, the text of the Constitution does not provide for such superintending power. But in practice, the Supreme Court exercises a great deal of superintendence. Directly, the matter of appointment and transfer of judges of the high courts. Of course, indirectly, by laying down the law regarding various aspects of the administration of justice at the high courts and subordinate court levels in the country.”

Read | Indian constitution is the greatest public policy, says Justice Chelameswar

Expressing concern over the huge backlog of cases in the Supreme Court, Justice Chelameswar said that a “solution must be found, if the institution is to remain relevant”.

“The enormous jurisdiction the Supreme Court is conferred by the Constitution, coupled with the eagerness of the court to do complete justice, created a huge amounts of arrears in the court, which is about 50,000-60,000 cases. A backlog which, it appears to me, is almost impossible to be cleared. I am sorry to say this…. (It) is a matter for examination and concern for all those who are committed to this institution. The solution must be found, if the institution has to remain relevant. The requirement for having a solution is imperative. The research work, like the book in hand, would go a long way to provide necessary material to find solution to the problem,” Justice Chelameswar said.

Ten days ago, in their unprecedented press conference, Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, the four most senior judges of the Supreme Court, had questioned the conduct of CJI Justice Dipak Misra, especially over allocation of cases. Since then, the CJI has met the four judges, but they are yet to arrive at a solution.

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  1. Deep Salam
    Jan 23, 2018 at 11:33 pm
    You, the gang of four Gaddars bogged down by your religious upbringing,.. don't deserve to be at the SC, ...
    1. Pais Hilary
      Jan 23, 2018 at 9:35 pm
      The Chief Justice is resisting the suggestions as it will affect vested interests.
      1. O
        Jan 23, 2018 at 5:43 pm
        Who is working at whose behest why is becoming more more clear. This unsavoury development, this indirect lobbying is also interconnected with a few other ongoing major cases. The possible bias theory operates in the case of the mutineers also. Some relief that high level people in many ins utions are not at all thinking of emulating such disturbing questionable examples set. Majority adjust themselves and wait patiently for their turns to come favourably.even though they have also such pressure tactics tools at their disposal. Another option available is the VRS route. Why not avail it soonest possible? So many transfers have also taken place in many ins utions for such type of people .. It is a slight variation of Tagorean principle of Ekla Chalo Ray not many takers, adherents in difft.spheres , sectors for obvious reasons. These instances also cons ute serious instances of gross misconduct.attracting conduct discipline rules application in any ins ution.
        1. M.s. Venkatraghavan
          Jan 23, 2018 at 3:07 pm
          Justice C.is shaking hands with politicians of dubious distinctions and proved as biased. Now what sort of independent judiciary that is existing will be the doubts in the minds of law abiding and peace loving Indians. Politicians must keep off.
          1. rakesh katyal
            Jan 23, 2018 at 2:31 pm
            Personal ego and ambition is killing the independence of judiciary. Foursome has ensured political meddling in future.
            1. mtv
              Jan 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm
              If elephant goes mad (berserk), you can chain it. But if chain itself goes mad, what can be done? That is the situation in SC now and that will need unconventional methods like the four senior judges have done. What are the other options, anyway?
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