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Is chaos in the ranks of Supreme Court a threat to the Indian Judicial System?

Why did have four apex judges of Supreme Court of India have to go public regarding a matter which could have been solved internally?

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SC Judges went in an open dissent against Chief Justice Dipak Mishra by calling a press conference. Wikimedia Commons
SC Judge's open dissent against Chief Justice Dipak Mishra as they called a press conference. Wikimedia Commons
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By Salil Gewali

When the judges become noisy plaintiffs, who will deliver the judgment? This was the kind of unprecedented situation that we witnessed last week. Yes, Supreme Court is the last resort where an estimated one hundred and twenty-five crore people repose their faith. We are the public having great faith in democracy. However, when the custodians of the democracy themselves openly roar that “our democracy is in danger”, where do we go? Well, the people of this country had to face such ‘comedy of errors’ enacted by four devious judges — all in the name of expressing displeasure, grievances, more candidly, when the country is ruled by the upright PM Modi whom they dislike.

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For whatever be the reasons, the stooping low by these judges has led people to lose their faith in the judiciary. Is it not a sort of degeneration because it also showed there is an obvious rift between the protesting judges and the Chief Justice of India. One of the judges had again said that there was no constitutional lapse on the part of the Chief Justice, but the convention, practice, and procedures that he followed while awarding cases to various judges were in question. He was also categorical that they would sort out this issue among themselves and no outside intervention is required. What does one not understand is, why did they “go public” with their internal issue, if they felt, they, themselves could sort it out? Whom were they trying to trick after breaking the established principle of judicial restraint?

Justice Kurian Joseph was one of the four judges who called the press conference. Wikimedia Commons
Justice Kurian Joseph was one of the four judges who called the press conference. Wikimedia Commons

It is very true that some things were not going well within the four walls of our judiciary. But are all things going on, in order, in this great country of ours where political leaders and a certain brand of media fraternity ceaselessly groan and moan? They all overwork to push for their host of devious agendas. They are too alert to something but play deaf and dumb for many other things. These very undesirable acts by these elites that have only been draining the very values of the democracy and national sovereignty.

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Yes, in this particular case, the rule of law itself has been undermined. This has clearly raised the questions of integrity and propriety. What is astonishingly outrageous is the fact that after a short while of the press conference a CPI leader D. Raja rushed to visit Justice Chelameshwar to shake hands. Does it not sound too fishy and unethical? Do we still doubt that it was a preplanned scheme? Who now disagrees that there were not the skeletons in the closet. Very soon they all might frighten us all, nay, the whole nation.

Further, if the learned judges had the solution to their stated issues, was their press conference not tantamount to washing dirty linen in public? Could they not have imagined the adverse effect of their action on the citizenry? However genuine their grievance is, which they may claim, it has invariably dented the very credibility of the Apex Court. The esteem with which people looked at it has now been just eroded.

The Indian system faced a huge crisis on January 12 when 4 senior judges called a press conference to discuss a matter which could have been solved internally. Wikimedia Commons
The Indian system faced a huge crisis on January 12 when 4 senior judges called a press conference to discuss a matter which could have been solved internally. Wikimedia Commons

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On the other side, the opportunistic politicians have been too quick enough to feed on the fodder that was generated. As usual, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi lost no time to attack BJP. The CPI leader, D. Raja got his opportunity to make his otherwise obscure presence felt in public. Some other corrupt politicians acted swiftly to get Anuj, the aggrieved son of late Justice Loya in front of TV cameras to “request all to not harass or trouble” the family. Anuj became a pawn in the hands of the high and mighty. Instead of saving the family, in the garb of helping them, the unscrupulous politicians are trying to put them in dire straits. Our greedy and self-centred politicians turn anyone in distress into a pawn in their hands. And they are ingenious in turning any untoward incident into demonic opportunity. If these dishonest politicians have their way, our country will have disaster written all over.

Salil Gewali is the author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali

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Indu Malhotra sworn in as SC judge

It is for the first time that the apex court has two women judges -- the other being Justice R. Banumathi. Justice Malhotra is the fifth woman judge of the top court.

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The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia commons

Senior lawyer Indu Malhotra was sworn in on Friday as Supreme Court judge, amid raging controversy over the Narendra Modi government returning recommendation on Justice K.M. Joseph.

Senior lawyer Indu Malhotra was sworn in on Friday as Supreme Court judge, amid raging controversy over the Narendra Modi government returning recommendation on Justice K.M. Joseph
Representational image, wikimedia commons

She was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. She will have a tenure of a little over three years.

With her swearing in the strength of the top court judges rose to 25 — six still short of the actual sanctioned strength of 31.

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It is for the first time that the apex court has two women judges — the other being Justice R. Banumathi. Justice Malhotra is the fifth woman judge of the top court.

Justice Fatima Bibi was the first woman judge of the Supreme Court. She was followed by Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Banumathi. (IANS)