Upset with lawyers publicly targeting judges, a Supreme Court judge Wednesday said they were “destroying the institution” and reminded lawyers that “they will survive only if this institution survives”.
Justice Arun Mishra, who along with Justice U U Lalit was hearing a case related to admissions to two medical colleges in Kerala, made these remarks when a group of senior lawyers kept pressing their case. On April 5, the bench had stayed an ordinance issued by Kerala that regularised admissions to the two medical colleges.
“When a judgment is passed, you go to this TV, that TV and discuss court proceedings. Everyday this is happening. Who is spared in this court? Every judge is targeted. By one arrow you want to kill all. You people are destroying this institution. If this institution is destroyed, then you people won’t survive,” Justice Mishra said.
Ever since the four most senior judges of the Supreme Court — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — held a press conference in January and raised questions about the conduct of Chief Justice of India, especially on the allocation of cases, the issues raised by them have been the subject matter of heated discussions with lawyers taking sides over judges.
At the press conference, one of the four judges told reporters that they had raised with the CJI the issue of allocation of some cases, one of which was a petition relating to to the death of CBI special judge B H Loya. That matter was allocated to a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. It was subsequently heard by a CJI-led bench which found nothing suspicious in the death.
Meanwhile, Justice Chelameswar, who is retiring on June 22, turned down an invitation from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for a farewell in his honour.
SCBA president Vikas Singh said he had met Justice Chelameswar twice and requested him to attend the event. On Wednesday, members of the SCBA executive committee also met him with the request that he attend the function planned for May 18. “But he declined, citing personal reasons,” Singh said. Justice Chelameswar has also not been attending farewell functions being organised by the SCBA for other retiring judges.