In an unprecedented move, four sitting judges in the Supreme Court have addressed the media on 12th of January. The judges addressing the press included Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph who are seniormost judges of the country, just below Chief Justice of India in the hierarchy. On being enquired repeatedly, Justice Gogoi told the media that the press conference was prompted on the issue of appointment of judges in the case of death of special CBI Judge B.H. Loya.
The main topic of discussion during the press conference was about the issue of judicial appointments. This move seems like a protest against the recommendations of collegium regarding the judicial appointments, ignoring senior judges of the court. The press conference is the first of its kind, and it was done at the residence of Justice Chelameswar, reports the Indian Express.
While we will not go into whether we support it or not but what led to this kind of situation. India is going through a tough phase with lots of extreme ideas without understanding the depth of it being floated by both traditional media and social media. 4 Supreme Court judges going public over their discontent with the system is serious issue. The judiciary in India does not have a good record when it comes to credibility, so there’s not much they have to lose. In such a time, this comes. It must have been an issue that must have been long discussed. The authorities took it for granted when the four judges must have approached them.
The letter released to the press was well drafted with great amount of thought put into it without revealing any details of the contention. It is clear that the press conference was organised as a last option and the authorities were made aware of it. However, the authorities took it for granted and chose to ignore it. The press conference by the four senior judges of Supreme Court made every one take notice of it and it grabbed more eyeballs as the judge command great respect.
The government has decided to show some restraint and not say much about the situation. Some have criticised them for brushing it as an internal matter. However, it might be their strategy to push for getting some control over the institution. While I hope that I am proved wrong but we cannot deny the probability. If the judges of Supreme Court themselves admit that everything is not right internally than it becomes easier for the government to step in.
The rift among the Supreme Court Judges has been long known to the insiders. What happened yesterday was uncalled for. The situation could have been easily avoided if handled sensibly internally.
The media also acted amateurishly in this issue. Instead of breaking down the consequences of the press conference and what lead to the desperation that the Judges were left with no choices they were busy diverting us from the issue.
We also have to understand that though the press conference was unfortunate, it did not mention about any political interference. It simply pointed out at corruption. The social media is however full of political comments which is more unfortunate but not at all surprising.
Let us hope that those in power handle the situation sensibly and take steps to get the credibility the Indian Judiciary deserves.
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