Two days after four of the Supreme Court’s most senior judges went public against the Chief Justice of India over the allocation of cases, the Delhi Bar Association called the unprecedented incident a black day for the judiciary. Addressing press conference on the crisis that has gripped the apex court, the Delhi Bar Association said CJI Dipak Misra should have looked into the matter beforehand.
“This was a first of its kind incident and a black day for us. The Chief Justice of India should have looked into the matter beforehand. He should have called a meeting to handle things,” the association said.
At the press conference on Friday, Justice Chelameswar said they “were left with no choice than to communicate it to the nation” that “less than desirable things have happened” in the Supreme Court in the last few months and “we tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order… he must take remedial measures” but “our efforts failed”.
The Delhi Bar Association gave a time limit of 7-10 days to resolve the issue, failing which it would hold discussions with all the Bar Associations of India. “If the matter isn’t resolved in 7-10 days, we will call all the Bar Associations of India, hold discussions with them and take to the streets, if it comes to that, in order to make people aware,” it said.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the co-ordination committee of All District Court Bar Associations of Delhi asserted that the CJI should have kept his house in order and addressed the grievances of the four senior judges. “We resolve that the Chief Justice of India should’ve kept his house in order and the grievances of the four senior judges should have been addressed by the CJI immediately,” the committee said.
Among the sticking points that the judges mentioned was “instances where cases having far reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justices of this Court selectively to the benches ‘of their preference’ without any rationale basis for such assignment.”
The co-ordination panel said the incident got blown out of proportion due to the absence of any legal mechanism to resolve such issues while maintaining that judicial discipline should be upheld at any cost. “We believe this incident occurred in absence of any legal mechanism to resolve such issues. The people of India have big faith in the sacred institution and the said faith shouldn’t be even touched by any act of anyone and judicial discipline should be maintained at any cost,” the All District Court Bar Associations of Delhi panel said.