Explained: What Does Supreme Court Judges’ Letter to CJI Mean?

What does Justice Chelameswar’s open letter to CJI Dipak Misra mean? The Quint explains.

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Addressing the gathering at the lawns of his residence, Justice Chelameswar said this is “an extraordinary event in the history of the nation”, as four judges held a press conference for the first time.

“With no pleasure we are compelled to take the decision to call a press conference. The administration of the SC is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months,” he said.

Chelameswar was accompanied by Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph, and Madan Lokur.

Justice Chelameswar released a letter that was addressed to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The letter expresses grievances of ‘preferential treatment’ given to benches in cases that concern the nation at large. It says that the appointment of certain benches to hear certain cases does not seem to be accurate.

The letter also alleged that Chief Justices have been appointing benches of their own choosing without any specific reasoning. The letter also said that other judges of the Supreme Court have been “doing things without facing consequences and which weren’t within their responsibility”.

The judges indirectly alleged that certain Supreme Court judges were taking actions that they weren’t authorised to do.

Training his guns on the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice Chelameswar said:

We tried to persuade the CJI (even today morning), but we failed. Our efforts to seek remedial measures failed. Unless this institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in this country.
Justice Chelameshwar

Chelameswar said that a few months ago, the four judges had submitted a letter to the CJI seeking “a particular thing to be done in a particular manner”.

“It was done, but in such a way that it raised further questions on integrity of institution,” he said.

(We Indians have much to talk about these days. But what would you tell India if you had the chance? Pick up the phone and write or record your Letter To India. Don’t be silent, tell her how you feel. Mail us your letter at lettertoindia@thequint.com. We’ll make sure India gets your message.)

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