Supreme Court judges mutiny: Voices from across the nation

As expected, the decision of the four SC judges to air their differences to the media has polarised opinions. While some felt it is a step in the right direction, others said the issues should have b

Published: 13th January 2018 07:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2018 03:26 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court of India (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

As expected, the decision of the four SC judges to air their differences to the media has polarised opinions. While some felt it is a step in the right direction, others said the issues should have been sorted out internally

It is disappointing that the matter reached such a state where the senior most judges had to hold a press conference. Ideally, such matters should be resolved within the Court. However, one can appreciate the frustration of the judges. They have raised some pertinent issues and the ball is now in the CJI’s court. We were also expecting that he will address the press, issue a note, but so far nothing has come out.
Faizan Mustafa, constitutional law expert, VC of NALSAR University of Law

The strongest pillar of our democracy is the constitution. It is sacrosanct. The collegium system has failed in totality and there is need for full court reference regarding Memorandum of Procedure. All the organs of government should work in harmony to finalise MOP.
Rinnypal Singh Cheema, advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court

Firstly, when the judges started addressing the press conference, it appeared to be a very serious matter. But, after reading their letter, I’m of the opinion that it goes against the Supreme Court rulings. In recent rulings of Supreme Court, powers of the Chief Justice related to roster has been kept intact. Hence, the points raised by the judges are in contravention to the SC ruling. Secondly, the judges could have put forth the issues in better ways. Going to the media and creating a show was not the right way to do the things I feel.
Uday Warunjikar, Senior lawyer of the Bombay High Court

This unprecedented news conference indicates that everything is not right within the nation’s top court. I wish the issues involved should have been dealt with in a better way without drawing attention to individual judges. Such news conferences will certainly tarnish the image of the higher judiciary and give a chance to the executive and politicians to step in to curb the judiciary’s independence.
Shantanu Kumar, senior advocate, Patna High Court

The dissenting judgment of Justice Punchhi in SCAOR case in 1993 is very relevant today. When the Supreme Court overruled SP Gupta case and took over all powers, an agitated Bharadwaj rushed to the chambers of Narasimha Rao. In his customary coolness Rao replied ‘why are you agitated? They cannot handle it. It will come back to us’. This is what is happening today. Soon, we may expect five or more judges holding another press conference in support of CJI. A divided Supreme Court is most welcome to the ruling party and politicians. God alone can save our country.
M Ravindran, senior advocate, Madras High Court

This unprecedented incident reflects that the Chief Justice of India is not acting in common understanding with the other judges. The BJP government is trying to exert influence over the judiciary, especially in the judge Loya case. The action of these four judges itself proves that democracy is in danger. Therefore, I believe it is high time that there should be an independent judicial commission for appointment and supervision of conduct of judges.
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, former Kolkata mayor and Calcutta High Court advocate

This unprecedented incident reflects that the Chief Justice of India is not acting in common understanding with the other judges. The BJP government is trying to exert influence over the judiciary, especially in the judge Loya case. The action of these four judges itself proves that democracy is in danger. Therefore, I believe it is high time that there should be an independent judicial commission for appointment and supervision of conduct of judges.
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, former Kolkata mayor and Calcutta High Court advocate

Unfortunate & dangerous for democracy. It’ll create more problems than solve. Since the judges have spoken they’ve done disservice to country because if judiciary is weakened, questions arise in people’s minds. It already has.
Somnath Chatterjee, former LS speaker

The incumbant government is destroying every institution of the country. Judiciary is the only institution that can prevent this. But, it appears that the judges of Supreme Court themselves had started acting in favor of the government. Hence it had become essential that all ills should come out in open before the people. In a way the judges have done precisely this today. I congratulate them and vouch to be with them.
BG Kolse-Patil, former judge of Bombay High Court

It’s totally a black day for our judicial system because such thing has not happened in the history of this country. People of this country have at least some faith in judicial system but if four senior most judges are coming to press like this, then there is a need to look into the matter seriously. Otherwise, this system of constitution will collapse as these senior most judges of the highest court seem to be frustrated even against their own system.
Onkar Singh Batalvi, former special engagement senior standing counsel,  Government of India

It is unprecedented. It is a healthy step. If things will keep simmering, they will damage a staggering institution like Supreme Court. If transparency and accountability of the highest judicial institution has to be secured, things should have a remedial recourse and in a democratic set up, reaching out to people is the best option. Even apex court is accountable to people.  
Prof Abdul Hafeez Gandhi, law professor in Integral University, Lucknow

Actually, the present day judges, both in Supreme Court and High Court, are more interested in enjoying administrative powers than judicial powers. They want to have power in their hands and a feel of wielding it. That is the only issue. They have no conflict of opinion on any judicial point. It is more of a power tussle going on currently. It is not their business to have the cases of their choice only to decide. How can they say that they want to take up a particular case or don’t want to take up a particular case? It is not in the ambit of the power of a judge. It is decided only by the Chief Justice.
IB Singh, senior advocate, Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench)

The grievances of the four judges of the Supreme Court are fully genuine. The manner in which the cases were withdrawn from select benches and assigned to other judges is arbitrary exercise of the administrative powers by the Chief Justice of India instead ethically exercising powers vested to him.
Manohar Dalal, senior advocate at Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court

It is something unprecedented. In my opinion whatever issues were there between the four sulking judges and the CJI, could have been settled on another table instead of bringing it to the public domain through press conference. There could be several other ways and means to stabilise and settle the differences. Coming out with their grievances to the public, followed by a meeting with a CPI leader, is something unhealthy and dangerous. The four judges may have a valid point in their contention but it should have been handled in a better way within the institution.
AK Srivastava, Justice (retd)

It is a sad day. It shouldn’t have happened. The judiciary is the only institution which has the credibility.  If there are any issues, the judges should settle within judiciary and not fight like politicians, as it will result in people losing faith in the judiciary.
Uday Holla, ex-AG, Karnataka

Howsoever serious the issues or the reasons might be, it should have been resolved internally. There are mechanisms to sort out the differences raised by the four senior SC judges. Such media briefing I fear will set a bad precedent and harm the reputation of the judiciary which is known for its independence.
Sunil Otwani, senior advocate, senior lawyer in Chattisgarh High Court

This is very unfortunate. The allegations against the Chief Justice of India are serious. He is unable to protect the institution although the four judges had drawn his attention two months ago about the complains they had about his functioning. The CJI is not an ordinary man and he should be above all allegations and suspicion. But he fails, then the entire judiciary would be under a cloud.
Prof Ravivarma Kumar, former Advocate General, Karnataka

Feel very disturbed over the issue, this should not have happened, but it has and there might be strong reasons for them. Consequence would be it would create apprehensions in minds of people.
AK Ganguly, Justice (Retd) on press conference by four Supreme Court judges

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.