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Published On: Sat, Jan 13th, 2018

Revolt against CJI: Lawyers’ bodies express concern over crisis in judiciary

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dc-Cover-1vlg5rk3v2bceavurusebe6mg5-20180112211811.MediNEW DELHI :  Lowyers organisations of the legal fraternity jumped into damage control mode today to resolve the unprecedented crisis following a rift within the judiciary. The Bar Council, the regulatory body for lawyers, said it would depute a seven-member team to meet all the judges individually.

The four of the Supreme Court’s most senior judges to criticise the Chief Justice of India, has earned the stiff disapproval of the Bar Council, who said it has “shaken up the system” and the matter should be resolved “peacefully and quickly”

“We just don’t want the dirty linen to be washed in public… Going to the cameras will weaken our system,” Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman of the Bar Council of India told today.

The council has formed a seven-member team which would initially meet the other judges of the Supreme Court. The team, he said, will follow it up with meetings with the four dissenting judges and finally the Chief Justice of India. The round of meetings will start from today.
On Friday, four judges of the top court had met the media at the house of Justice J Chelameswar. Things were “not in order”, they said, with what they described as “the administration of the Supreme Court” and expressed concerns about the assignment of sensitive cases, which is done by the Chief Justice of India. Asked if they believed the Chief Justice should be impeached, they said, “Let the nation decide.”
Various lawyers’ bodies on Saturday expressed “grave concern” over the differences arising between the CJI and four top judges of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Associations (SCAORA) and the Bar Council of India (BCI) in closed-door emergency meetings deliberated the situation arising out of the press conference by four senior-most apex court judges on Friday.
BCI, the apex body regulating the lawyers, cautioned against politicising the crisis. “No political party or leader should take undue advantage of the situation arising out of the press conference by four senior Supreme Court judges,” BCI chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra said.
The SCBA, which expressed “grave concern” over the differences of the four judges with Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, said the issue should be immediately considered by the full court of the apex court.
“Executive Committee of SCAORA is concerned and pained with all the events which have tarnished the reputation and image of our esteemed institution. It urges stakeholders to exercise restraint and requests them to resolve all issues internally and within the constitutional framework,” its resolution said.
The judge had accused Justice Misra of not taking any “remedial measures” on some of the issues which affected the functioning of the apex court that they had raised. Justice Misra became the CJI on August 28, 2017, and he is due to retire from on October 2 this year.

Unless this institution is preserved, “democracy will not survive” in this country, Justice Chelameswar had said at the unscheduled press conference. The presser was held at his residence.
Justice Chelameswar had also said that all the four judges “failed to persuade CJI that certain things are not in order and therefore you should take remedial measures. Unfortunately, our efforts failed.” (With PTI inputs)

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