January 13, 2018
The Modi government was definitely taken aback by the open rebellion by four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court against Chief Justice Dipak Misra, but made it clear that it was not going to intervene in the issue.
For the time being, it will remain a silent spectator and let the judiciary resolve the matter itself. Sources in the government said since such an issue has never erupted in the past, the executive would prefer to adopt a wait and watch policy.
“Our judiciary is reputed all over the world, is independent and will sort out the matter itself,” said minister of state for law PP Chaudhury.
The sources said since it was an internal matter of the judiciary, the government had no say in it and did not wish to interfere. But at the same time, they said the apex court should settle the issue at the earliest as the faith of the people in the judiciary was at stake.
Meanwhile, attorney general KK Venugopal said the unprecedented move by the four senior Supreme Court judges in holding a press conference could have been avoided and the judges would now have to act in statesmanship to ensure complete harmony.
Venugopal, who had a meeting with CJI Misra after the press conference, expressed hope that all judges, including the CJI, would rise to the occasion and wholly neutralise the divisiveness.
“What has happened today could have been avoided. The judges will now have to act in statesmanship and ensure that the divisiveness is wholly neutralised and total harmony and mutual understanding will prevail in future”, he said.
“This is what all of us at the bar want and I am sure that the judges, including the CJI, will rise to the occasion, he said, but declined to come out with details of his deliberations with the CJI and others.”
The second senior-most judge after the Misra, Justice J Chelameswar, said, the administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months.
The other judges present at the press conference were justices Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph. Sources in the law ministry said law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had not briefed the prime minister in this regard. Prasad has however received a copy of the letter written by the four judges to the Chief Justice.