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5-min read

News18.com Daybreak | Dissent in SC: Who Will Repair the Damage? and Stories You May Have Missed

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Adrija Bose | News18.com

Updated:January 15, 2018, 8:52 AM IST
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News18.com Daybreak | Dissent in SC: Who Will Repair the Damage? and Stories You May Have Missed
(L-R) Justices Kurian Joseph, Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur address the media at a news conference. (Image: REUTERS)

An unprecedented press briefing by four senior most Supreme Court judges questioning the office of the Chief Justice of India shook the nation on Friday, setting the stage for structural reforms in the higher judiciary. Are there any other scenarios that may pan out in the Supreme Court? News18.com speaks to members of the judiciary to understand what lies ahead. 

dipak misra

What triggered the historic ‘rebellion' by the four Supreme Court judges? It was an argument early in the morning around 10 am which convinced the four most senior judges in the Supreme Court to go to the people's court. All four had met Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra with a question about the assignment of two PILs on Special CBI Judge BH Loya's death to court No.10, which is headed by Justice Arun Mishra.

It is not everyday that sitting judges of the Supreme Court hold a press conference to highlight the issues concerning the judiciary. The four senior-most judges have opened a Pandora’s box of unanswered questions. Here, we attempt to decode the tussle.

We have all been hearing words & phrases like ‘unprecedented’ & ‘never ever in independent India’ to describe the SC judges’ mutiny. Has it really harmed democracy? Or is this proof that our thriving democracy and its systems are alive and kicking? Here is an easy to digest explainer on what went wrong in court. 

When the four senior-most Supreme Court judges decided to "address the nation" and "discharge their debt", no other judge in the apex court or even the CJI had any inkling of what was about to happen. 

Justice Kurian Joseph told reporters in New Delhi that there is no need for outside intervention to solve the matter because its is a matter (that) occurred within an institution. Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the four senior Supreme Court judges who virtually revolted against the country's Chief Justice over "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders, said there was no need for outside intervention to solve the problem.

At a time when allocation of important cases among judges in the Supreme Court has resulted in four seniormost judges speaking out openly against the CJI, another development may rattle the ranks. The Supreme Court registry notified eight Constitution Bench cases, which will be heard from January 17. Even though the cases include women-centric issues such as allowing menstruating women to enter Kerala's Sabarimala Temple and making adultery a gender-neutral law, the lone woman judge in the top court doesn't seem to be the part of the adjudication. 

Never in the history of the SC, except during emergency and Indira Gandhi's time, has there been such interference by the executive. Colin Gonsalves, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court wrote, “It is true that CJI is master of the rolls, but like all discretion and powers that are exercised, those powers need to be exercised transparently and fairly. There is a feeling among a section of the lawyers that the SC has failed to address the concern of the lawyers, and it is not right to say that the power is absolute because no power is ever absolute.”

Former Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Bashir Ahmed Khan, in an opinion piece for News18.com  wrote that the move by these four honourable judges is a “double-edged sword”. It can either lead to the betterment of and save the judiciary or it can lead to domination of the executive and lead to a washing away of the roots of the judiciary. His message to Chief Justice Dipak Misra: “You must now repair the damage”.

The family of Justice BH Loya said the death of the special CBI judge, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh "fake encounter" case, was being politicised and urged all parties to refrain from taking advantage of the situation. Justice Loya’s son, Anuj, said he did not have any doubts about the way his father died three years ago. "I had an emotional turmoil, hence I had suspicions about his death. But now we don't have any doubts about the way he died," he told reporters.

In other news, three Bangladeshi inmates escaped from Alipore Central Correctional Home, where they were imprisoned for three years. The inmates were identified as Mohammad Farooq Haoladar, Iman Chaudhuri and Firdaus Sheikh. They were arrested on various charges including robbery, kidnapping and for illegally infiltrating into India.

And, yet again, one of our heroes failed us. Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual assault by a 23-year-old photographer, who claims she went on a date with him in 2017.

A 23-year-old woman, who was set on fire after rape allegedly by her father-in-law in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district, died during treatment. 

Benjamin Netanyahu is the first Israeli Prime Minister in 15 years to visit India but he comes at a time when his political standing is at the weakest in his three-decade long career. The grand welcome accorded to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi may not signal this, but observers in Tel Aviv would be closely watching the takeaways from the visit beyond the optics. 

ISRO100

On Saturday, Sreejith completed 764 days of protest outside the Kerala State Secretariat, demanding ‘justice’ for his brother. The 30-year-old alleges that his brother Sreejeev was tortured and killed in police custody in 2014, and is demanding an investigation by the CBI.

On reel

One of the earliest widespread use of Bitcoins was by the online black marketplace Silk Road, a portal for drug sellers and buyers to conduct transactions without being tracked by authorities. So what does a junkie's medium of exchange have to do with the common person? Watch this explainer for a quick rundown on what the bitcoin philosophy is.

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