The Bar Council of India on Saturday offered to mediate between the judges for resolution of the judiciary crisis in the Supreme Court. A seven-member committee was formed by the council which, will hold meetings with the judges to assuage the matter.
In an unprecedented move on Friday, four top judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference during which they questioned the conduct of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, especially over the allocation of cases. Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — who make the current Supreme Court Collegium, the highest decision-making body of the judiciary — said they had failed to persuade CJI Dipak Misra that certain things are not in order, and left it to the people to protect the judiciary. They warned that democracy was under threat.
Missed out on what happened yesterday? Read highlights here.
Below are the Highlights:
8:30 pm: This is not an issue that requires mediation from outside. This is an internal issue of the institution and the institution will sort it out. A correction inside the institution is what is required: Justice Kurian Joseph
7:20 pm: If what judges saying is a problem and there is no reason to doubt why they’re saying is a problem, they must be taken seriously by the judiciary. There was Justice Loya, something went wrong and that may not be clear in public domain, it needs to be made clear, faith in judiciary is complete: T Poonawala
7:07 pm: The four SC judges should be taken seriously, every institution in a democracy needs to introspect and evolve, says T Poonawala, lead petitioner in Judge Loya case.
7:05 pm: The Chief Justice of India is the Master of the Roster. He must also be accountable, writes Kapil Sibal. READ HERE
6:55 pm: The working of the Supreme Court has come into question with the revelation of internal conflicts in the top court. Legal bodies are now scrambling to find solutions to the problems. READ HERE
6:50 pm: Supreme Court bar Association resolution: All matters should be looked into by full court. All PILs including that demanding probe into Judge Loya death should be taken up by CJI or assigned to courts headed by other four judges of the Collegium.
6:43 pm: The first meeting of SCBA will be done with the Chief Justice of India informed the Association president. “If CJI agrees to our views, we will take further appointment from the other judges too and fix a meeting with them.”
6:42 pm: The SC Bar Association denied to comment on the issues surrounding the case of death of Judge Loya in the Supreme Court.
6:41 pm: A resolution taken was that all PIL matters must be taken by CJI or must be assigned to the collegium of 5 judges. This must be done in order to maintain credibility of SupremeCourt: SC Bar Association
6:40 pm: We will send the unanimous resolution to the Chief Justice of India. We want that the matter be resolved as soon as possible: SC Bar Association
6:39 pm: Differences stated by the 4 judges & reflected in media are of grave concern & must be resolved immediately by SC Bar Association, says Vikas Singh, President of Supreme Court bar Association
6:30 pm: Meanwhile, Supreme Court on Monday will not hear PIL seeking probe into the alleged mysterious death of Special CBI Judge B H Loya, as one of the SC judges M Shantanagoudar is on leave.
6:26 pm: The unprecedented accusations levelled on the CJI comes from within the ranks of the Supreme Court after the Chief Justice failed to pay heed to matters raised by his fellow colleagues.
6:08 PM: BCI Chairman said, “Prime Minister and law minister had said yesterday itself that it is judiciary’s internal matter and govt won’t be interfering in the matter, and we appreciate the government’s stand.”
6:06 pm: The decision to form a seven-member committee comes after a meeting of the Bar Council of India. The Council appreciated the government decision to not comment on the matter.
6:04 pm: As far as MOP is concerned, it must be finalised at the earliest in a proper manner. We will write a letter to the govt for the same but is not that big a matter to be brought in public: BCI Chairman.
6:02 pm: BCI Chairman, without naming Congress, urged political parties to not politicise the issue to gain mileage and damage the democracy.
6:00 pm: Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman of Bar Council of India says Council ready to mediate the judiciary crisis.
5:59 pm: Bar Council calls for internally resolving the issues raised by the SC judges.
5:58 pm: The Bar Council forms a 7-member delegation of the Council who will meet judges of the Supreme Court over the issue.
5:51 pm: Congress today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must answer as to why a “special messenger” was sent to the CJI, reported PTI.
5:35 pm: The press conference held by the four top judges of the SC was first of its kind in the history of independent India and has created ripples, revealing the growing unease among judges with the manner of functioning of the top court.
5:28 pm: Meeting of Bar Council of India is underway in Delhi. The members will shortly address a press conference over the feud going on in the Supreme Court between the judges and CJI Dipak Misra.
1.51 pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala says the Prime Minister should respond to why his principal secretary Nripendra Misra visited the CJI’s residence. Taking to Twitter, he said, “As PM’s Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra visits CJI’s residence at 5, Krishna Menon Marg; PM must answer the reason for sending this special messenger to Chief Justice of India.”
1.06 pm: The chairman of the Bar Council of India, Manan Kumar Mishra, says the meeting will take place at 5 pm this evening, and tomorrow a delegation will meet senior judges and the CJI and request them to refrain from telling the public about internal issues. Speaking to ANI, he says, “Holding a PC on a minor issue of roster is saddening. We have a meeting at 5 pm today & tomorrow our delegation will meet those senior judges, CJI & other judges & request them to not bring issues like these in front of public.”
12.35 pm: The Supreme Court Bar Association will meet sometime this afternoon. It will hold a press conference at 6 pm to address the allegations made by the four judges yesterday. The president of the association had told ANI this morning that the press conference yesterday was “not properly planned” and has created “doubts in the minds of people.”
12.11 pm: Here’s EP Unny’s cartoon in today’s The Indian Express. For more cartoons, click here.
11.47 am: In response to the developments yesterday, the Congress had stated that the judges’ concerns are “extremely important.” The party supported the judges’ view that “established conventions and traditions of the courts must be followed, and selective assignment of cases must be stopped”. Read more here.
11.24 am: Justice Joseph, following the meeting, said the issues raised by the judges were not “personal” but “institutional.” He expressed confidence that they would be resolved soon and hoped the customary Monday meeting of the four judges with the CJI would take place. Here’s what he said to The Indian Express.
Also read | Govt vs Supreme Court is now Judges vs CJI
11.08: Attorney General K K Venugopal, while leaving his residence this morning, says, “let us hope everything goes down very well.” Yesterday, he had said the press conference by the judges “could have been avoided.”
11.00 am: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, this morning, in a series of tweets, says the judge’s questions should concern every single Indian as democracy is the bedrock of our nation. He tweeted, “‘Democracy in India is in danger’. This was the warning that came from the Hon Judges yesterday. So no, it’s not an internal matter for the Hon SC. It is certainly not a BJP v/s Congress or a Rahul v/s Modi issue. It is quite simply an issue that should concern every single Indian.”
“Democracy in India is the bedrock of our nation. We take pride in telling the world we are the largest democracy even if we aren’t the oldest or the greatest. When four senior most Hon judges of the Supreme Court see a threat to India’s democracy the worst thing we can do is to simply wish it away,” he added.
10.49 am: Nripendra Misra, the principal secretary to the Prime Minister, has called on Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra’s residence in New Delhi, reports ANI.
10.36 am: Yesterday, the judges had refrained from disclosing any details regarding their concerns with the judiciary. They had also stated in their letter to the CJI that it was to “avoid embarrassing the institution.” The lack of detail had led to much speculation yesterday. In response, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has asked, “So the case that triggered it all, is about the sudden death of a Judge hearing a serious case involving the BJP President?” His tweet this morning comes with a news article on the probe into the death of Judge Loya.
10.35 am: The judges yesterday, following their address to the media, had made public the letter they wrote to the CJI. In the letter, they had written: “Chief Justice is only the first amongst the equals — nothing more or nothing less.” Read the entire letter here.
10.17 am: In case you missed what happened yesterday, four senior judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference. They said they had written a letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra two months ago about a certain issue, but did not receive any response. Saying that all their efforts have failed, they said “we are discharging our duties to the nation.” Justice Chelameswar, who spoke on behalf of the group, added that, “Twenty years later, wise men shouldn’t say we sold our souls.”
Twenty years later, wise men shouldn’t say we sold our souls.
9.55 am: Meanwhile, president of the Bar Vikas Singh has said, “If they had to come for a press conference, then they should have said something substantial. Just creating doubts in the minds of people will not serve the interest of the judiciary. This was not properly planned. They didn’t say anything about Justice Loya.”
9.40 am: The Supreme Court Bar Association is expected to meet, a day after allegations against the institution were made by the top SC judges. They are likely to hold a press conference later today, reported ANI.
9.30 am: A day after four judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference to reveal that “things are not in order” in the judiciary, we bring you all the live updates, reactions and news.