Supreme Court Crisis: No Talks Between CJI Dipak Misra, Dissenting Judges
New Delhi, Jan 15: The Supreme Court reopens today after its weekend break and the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and the four dissenting judges will be attending to work as usual. There has been no talk between Dipak Misra and the four judges — Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph — since Friday’s ‘unprecedented’ press conference.
There had been reports that the CJI could hold talks with the four judges. However, no such initiative has been taken by Dipak Misra, sources close to the CJI told the Indian Express. The four judges would go to the Supreme Court and hear whatever is assigned to them ‘as usual’, sourced added. The revolt against the rostering by the Chief Justice didn’t amount to going on a strike, they said.
One of the key points raised by the four judges was the “selective” allocation of cases by the CJI. In a press conference on Friday, the judges said the Supreme Court administration was “not in order” and released an undated letter they wrote to Justice Misra in which they conceded that the Chief Justice was the master of roster but this was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.
They did not refer to any particular matter the Chief Justice had decided in assigning benches. Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah had been named and cleared, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”
The clash among the judges in the highest court also comes in the wake of a controversial order in November in which Justice Misra declared that the Chief Justice “is the master of the roster” having exclusive power to decide which case will go to which judge.