Supreme Court Bar President Hits Out at 'Rebel' Judges, Says Their Press Meet 'Concealed More Than It Revealed'
Questions over appointment of Justice Ranjan Gogoi (third from left) as next CJI emerged following the unprecedented press conference of the four most senior judges in January this year. (Photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Bar Association has dismissed any possibility of impeachment of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, saying that four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court “concealed more than they revealed” in their unprecedented press meet on Friday.
In a first, four sitting judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference, saying that the administration of the top court is “not in order” and many "things less than desirable" have happened in last few months. The judges addressing the media were Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph.
Hours later, senior advocate Vikas Singh, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, told News18 that the “press meet has only led to speculation” and “that the letter (from the judges to the CJI) had nothing to reveal”.
“There is no question of impeachment in this case. This has to be addressed within the system rather than going to press like this. You go for a press conference to reveal, but the intention of this press conference was to conceal,” he said.
“This has led to imagination of the country running wild. The institution derives its respect for the credibility it has garnered over these years. If the credibility goes, who will respect the institution? The press conference has only led to speculation,” he added.
Singh also criticised the stand taken by Justice Chelameshwar, Justice Gogoi, Justice Joseph and Justice Lokur stating that the judgment which has been cited in the letter to highlight the delay in finalising Memorandum of Procedure was “already withdrawn by the CJI”.
“The letter has absolutely nothing. The letter speaks about the RP Luthra matter which was dealt by Justice Goel and Justice UU Lalit. I don’t think that order was wrong which had only said that if the Memorandum of Procedure was approved then why it is not being decided. That delay in finalising the MoP is harming the judiciary,” he said.
“But even that order was re-called by the CJI along with Justice AK Sikri and Justice Amitava Roy. It’s incomprehensible as to why Luthra verdict was cited in the letter. I do not understand how such senior judges could have committed such a mistake to have actually not checked facts? That order was withdrawn by the CJI,” said Singh.
Lashing out at the CJI for an incorrect interpretation of the 'master of the roster theory' and stating that this media interaction was needed for them to discharge their debt towards the nation, the four senior-most judges said that they had to take this step so that “20 years down the line wise men do not say that the four judges had sold their souls”.
Vikas Singh told News18, that even if the CJI is wrong in forming such benches, “his decision has to accept and primacy must be accorded to him.”
“The master of the roster theory has also been accepted by the four judges. It is not as if something new has been done by CJI Mishra. But the way CJI has been forming those benches leaves a lot to be desired. But that does not justify what the four judges did. Even if the CJI was doing it wrong, he would still be the master of the roster. Still you have to give him the primacy,” said Singh.