Expressing deep anguish over four Supreme Court judges going public on issues related to the apex court, former Solicitor General of India N Santosh Hegde on Friday said he was “devastated” by their action which has caused “irreparable” damage to the institution.
“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,” he told PTI. In a democracy, people have lost faith in Legislature and Executive, and their faith lies only in Judiciary now, he said.
The delay in disposal of cases is one of the things that is causing concern to people and diminishing their confidence in the system, and judges going public with their allegations has further dented people’s faith in the system, Hegde said. “I feel very sad about it. I am sure they (the four judges) are hurt with many things which ought not to have happened. But for heaven’s sake, what they did was wrong. I don’t think this damage can ever be repaired,” he said.
“It amounts to a Constitutional crisis now. And it will lead to all sorts of criticism from aggrieved people from the judiciary and people who have benefited from the judiciary will not speak about it. And in the long run, the judiciary is (will become) another subject matter of Tom, Dick and Harry,” he said.
The former Karnataka Lokayukta and the retired Supreme Court judge said Judiciary is totally different from Legislature and Executive, and the four judges, by raising allegations in public, have brought them to the same level. “I have no doubt that (the four) judges of the Supreme Court have good grievances against the Chief Justice of India. I have no difficulty about that. But the method used by them to find relief from the public is wrong. It should be decided within the family (of Judiciary) itself, and not brought into the public discussion,” he said.
Hegde said seeking public support or public opinion in the matter is “fully wrong”. “Yes, there are serious allegations against the Chief Justice of India. I see that. But the method adopted by them is fully wrong. It’s a damage that can never ever be repaired,” he added.