Supreme Court judge press conference, reactions highlights: Tomorrow, SC judges with their statesmanship will fully resolve differences, says Attorney General

SC judges press conference, reactions highlights: "It's quite shocking. There must have been compelling reasons for the senior-most judges to have adopted this course of action. One could see pain on their faces while they were speaking," Supreme Court Judge KTS Tulsi said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2018 2:28 am
SC judges press conference, reactions LIVE UPDATES: PM must ensure SC comes to single opinion, says Subramanian Swamy Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph at the press conference in New Delhi (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

In an unprecedented move, four senior-most Supreme Court judges on Friday held a press conference to tell the nation that unless the institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in the country. Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph told reporters in New Delhi that there was an urgent need to preserce the judiciary system if democracy was to be protected, and that they failed to convince Chief Justice Of India (CJI) Deepak Misra towards the same.

At the conference held at Justice Chelameswar’s residence in the capital, he said, “We met CJI with a specific request which unfortunately couldn’t convince him that we were right. Therefore, we were left with no choice except to communicate it to the nation that please take care of the institution.” The judges released a four-page letter to the CJI following the presser.

The judges also said that allotment of cases to judges was an issue. “There is an issue of assignment of a case which is raised in that letter (to CJI),” said Justice Ranjan Gogoi. On being asked further if it is about the mysterious death of CBI Judge BH Loya, he said, “Yes”.

READ | LIVE UPDATES: Preserve Supreme Court to protect democracy in India, say top four SC judges

Here are reactions to the press conference by the four judges:

9:55 pm: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was quoted by ANI as saying, “This is an internal matter of the Supreme Court, AG has given statement. No politics should be played. Surprised and pained that Congress which has been rejected number of times by people in elections is trying to gain political mileage, it has exposed itself.”

8:30 pm: Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee speaking to ANI said, “Unfortunate and dangerous for democracy. It’ll create more problems than solve. Since the judges have spoken they’ve done disservice to country because if judiciary is weakened, questions arise in people’s minds, it already has.”

7: 48 pm: Addressing a press conference, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said, “Unprecedented, points raised by the honorable judges need to be looked into carefully, even Justice Loya’s death needs to be investigated properly.” He added, “All citizens who love the idea of justice are looking at this issue, needs to be addressed.”

7:43 pm: After conducting a meeting at Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s residence on the SC Judges Press Conference on the functioning of the Supreme Court, the party has released an official statement.

7:38 pm: Randeep Surjewala addressing the media said, “Observations made by Hon Judges are extremely disturbing and have far reaching consequences.”

7:20 pm: 

Former CJI K G Balakrishnan: 

“The judiciary is the sanctuary of the common man. This kind of a situation will trigger doubts about the institution and this should not have happened.”

6:55 pm: Attorney General K K Venugopal speaking to ANI said that tomorrow the Supreme Court judges with their statesmanship will fully resolve their differences.

6:20 pm: 

Attorney General K K Venugopal: 

“What has happened today could have been avoided. The judges will now have to act in statesmanship and ensure that the divisiveness is wholly neutralised and total harmony and mutual understanding will prevail in future.”

READ | Press conference by four Supreme Court judges could have been avoided, says Attorney General K K Venugopal 

6: 15 pm:

Former Solicitor General of India N Santosh Hegde: 

“As a retired judge of the Supreme Court, I feel devastated. For some reason or the other, their cause is justified, (but) relief they are seeking is wrong…going to the media? No. Judiciary was always considered as a family. Family disputes are never taken to the streets.”

READ | Irreparable damage to judiciary: Former Solicitor General Santosh Hegde on Supreme Court crisis 

5:19 pm:

Shrihari Aney, former Attorney General: 

These are very senior judges and come only after CJI. They wouldn’t have taken the step without thinking. If it has fallen upon them to take action, it’s up to us to understand what led to that.

4:57 pm: CPI M leader D Raja speaking to media after meeting Justice Jasti Chelameswar at his residence was quoted by ANI as saying, “Have known him for a long time. When I came to know of the extraordinary step taken by him and other judges, I thought must meet him. Not giving it political colour. These are concerns for everybody, it’s about future of country and democracy.”

4:42 pm: 

SC judges press conference CPI M leader D Raja with Jasti Chelameswar at his residence in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Praveen Jain)

4:35 pm: We are deeply anguished with the developments today about the Supreme Court. What we are getting from the statement of the four senior Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court about the affairs of the Court makes us really sad as citizens. Judiciary and Media are the pillars of democracy. Extreme interference of Central Government with Judiciary is dangerous for democracy, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

READ | Extreme interference of Centre with Judiciary dangerous for democracy: Mamata Banerjee 

4:30 pm: 

Justice(Retd) AK Ganguly:

Feel very disturbed over the issue, this should not have happened, but it has and there might be strong reasons for them. Consequence would be it would create apprehensions in minds of people.

4:00 pm:

Hansraj Bhardwaj, former Union Law Minister

It’s the loss of prestige of the entire institution. If you lose public’s trust what remains? Judiciary must remain pillar of democracy. It’s responsibility of Law Minister to see how it functions.

2:37 pm:

Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney-General of India:

“I’m very upset about this, I wish the four Supreme Court judges hadn’t done this. This will have severe repercussions on judiciary.”

2:31 pm:

Mukul Mudgal, retired HC judge: “There must be some serious reason that they were left with no other option but to hold a press conference. But what connection Loya has with this? I know nothing about this and I don’t want to make comments about any political matter.”

OPINION | CJI is exercising his powers in an opaque manner

2:21 pm: 

Indira Jaising, SC advocate: “I think it’s a historic press conference. It was very well done. I think we, the people of India, have a right to know what is going on within the judiciary and I welcome this.”

2:08 pm: 

PB Sawant, former SC judge: “Judges had to come before media and take this unprecedented step. This means that there is a serious dispute, either with Chief Justice of India or some internal dispute.”

1:55 pm:

Indian National Congress on Twitter: “We are very concerned to hear 4 judges of the Supreme Court expressed concerns about the functioning of the Supreme Court. #DemocracyInDanger”

1:48 pm:

Yashwant Sinha, BJP leader : “Absolutely unprecedented, the press conference of the four senior judges of supreme court. Most important take away ‘when national interest is at stake ordinary rules of business do not apply.”

1:38 pm:

Salman Khurshid, senior advocate – “Deeply sad and pained, also feel a sense of agony that highest court of land should come under such severe stress that forces judges to address the media.”

1:32 pm:

Ujjwal Nikam, senior advocate: “This is a black day for Judiciary. Today’s press conference would cause a bad precedent. From now on every common man could look at all judicial order with suspicion. Every judgement will be questioned.”

1:26 pm:

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy: “We can’t criticize them, they are men of great integrity and have sacrificed a lot for their legal career, where they could’ve made money as senior counsels. We must respect them. PM must ensure that the four judges and CJI, in fact entire Supreme Court, come to one opinion and proceed further.”

READ the full text of the SC judges’ letter to CJI here

1:26 pm:

Advocate Prashant Bhushan: “It is certainly a very serious development which has cast a huge shadow on the Chief Justice. Somebody had to confront the situation, where CJ is blatantly misusing his powers, hence the unprecedented step.”

1:03 pm:

Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi: “It’s quite shocking. There must have been compelling reasons for the senior-most judges to have adopted this course of action. One could see pain on their faces while they were speaking.”

1:11 pm:

Supreme Court Justice R S Sodhi (retd): “I think all four judges should be impeached, they have no business to sit there and deliver verdicts anymore. This trade unionism is wrong. Democracy in danger is not for them to say, we have parliament, courts, police functioning.

“Issues don’t matter. It is their complaint on administrative matter. They are only four, there are 23 others. Four get together and show the Chief Justice in a poor light. It is immature and childish behaviour.”

READ | Don’t want wise men saying 20 years from now that we sold our souls: top four SC judges

12:23 pm:

Ashutosh Kumar, AAP leader: “Now the position of CJI is very vulnerable. He should explain to the nation.

“This is the crisis of manumental proportion. Serious threat to Indian democracy. Last Pillar is also crumbling!!! Needs serious remedial steps!!!

“If matter is related to Judge Loya’s death then it is far more serious and it will shake the entire establishment, it will shake people’s faith in democracy.

(With agency inputs)

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  1. Black Cobra
    Jan 13, 2018 at 7:14 am
    Justice Lokur had given excellent judgements in the past. But press conference could have been avoided. A common man in India does not have much faith in judiciary. He has more faith in police encounters. There are many judgements which were reversed. For eg Lalit Narain ( Railway minister) was killed in mid seventies but it took more than 4 decades to give judgement and some of the accused on bail had died during trail. Need of the hour is "judicial reforms"which are long over due. I will ask only one question to judiciary, why BAIL is given very easily even for the most dangerous crimes. From lower court to SC same story.
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    1. Kushal Kumar
      Jan 12, 2018 at 8:14 pm
      This Vedic astrology writer’s related predictions in article - “ Astrologically speaking , some highlights for India in coming year 2018” - published last year at theiniapost on 19 October , 2017. Just reproducing : -“ The year 2018 looks to be bringing to focus themes of political , religious or spiritual nature for a heightened or sharp analysis or discussion. Such analysis or discussion could also pave way for new enactments or judicial pronouncements having far reaching significance or value covering issues related to ……….political class”. Here , the words political and spiritual also include judiciary because they exercise sovereign power of State and are required to be ‘spiritual’ in that exercise, which means absolute honesty , integrity and devotion to the Cons ution. So intent of the prediction can be read to cover themes of judiciary
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      1. dreder collen
        Jan 12, 2018 at 7:10 pm
        IF THE justices didn’t not like their boss they should quit. Four corrupt inefficient and anti national persons cannot comment on the democracy. Now everyone should criticize these judges Openly. They broke the shield of sanc y and they should pay for it. Treat these Bb astards as politicians and show black flag to them in the court room.
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        1. dreder collen
          Jan 12, 2018 at 7:07 pm
          Daniel Raja is a commie and a Christian - the two worst enemies of Hindus and India. He must have instigated the justices to revolt against CJI ti discredir the government.
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          1. Prakash Yadav
            Jan 12, 2018 at 6:22 pm
            JUST SEE AN EXAMPLE HOW ONE OF THE JUDGES HAVE GIVEN JUDGEMENT WHICH REFLECTS THEIR integrity to justice. Award granted as per arbitral provisions of MSMED Act and upheld by two appellant courts below, to ensure delayed payment of 127 months with penal interest is set aside by order in CA 5150/17, the amount partially delivered has been ordered to be paid back, because matter of delayed pymnt ought to have been pursued before the DRT itself from whom the amount was due and not before MSMEDF Council. Honble justice relied on misleading evidence, knowing that it is by perjury, then heavily relied on order in 25/7 which was by re agitation, and re litigation of order dated 12.6.2007, then extensively relied on an order dated 25.3.2009 which was already dismissed on 13.7.2011 in appeal 8/9.then facts that appeal is not from a legal en y in the eyes of law, is without depositing 75 mandatory deposit, that pe ioner has committed contempt right in face of court were totally ignored.
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            1. Prakash Yadav
              Jan 12, 2018 at 6:27 pm
              integrity of such judges is doubtful and their presence itself is a blot to judiciary in India. in this case they could have gone before the president or the legislature, that could have helped them to achieve better, going to press has definitely tarred the image of apex court than what could have been , even if they were silent.
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