It's a Black Day for our judiciary: Ujjwal Nikam on SC judges' press meet

Topics Supreme Court

Supreme Court Judges Kurian Joseph, J.Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur address the media shortly #Delhi (names in order of seating). (Photo: ANI)
Four sitting Supreme Court judges, in an unprecedented move, called a press conference and talked about the apex court's house not being in order. One of the judges said, "democracy will not survive". Justice Chelameshwar said the call to the nation was done amid ''extraordinary" circumstances.

Following the conference, Judges J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph released a seven-page letter that they wrote to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

Here's how this action was perceived by the legal community:

Prashant Bhushan, Senior SC Lawyer: I express my gratitude to the SC judges. CJI Dipak Misra has 'blatantly' misused his power as 'master of roster' to achieve particular outcomes in cases. The Chief Justice must resign if he has any sense of responsibility.

KTS Tulsi, Senior SC Advocate: It's quite shocking. There must have been compelling reasons for the senior-most judges to have adopted this course of action. One could see the pain on their faces while they were speaking.

Salman Khurshid, Congress Leader &Senior Lawyer: This matter will ultimately be decided by the court. The judges will have to sort out the issues among themselves. Senior lawyers will meet at 5 pm at Kapil Sibal's residence to formulate the course of action going forward. 

Subramanian Swamy, Senior lawyer & BJP leader: We can't criticize them, they are men of great integrity & have sacrificed a lot of their legal career, where they could've made money as senior counsels. We must respect them. PM must ensure that the 4 judges & CJI, in fact, whole SC come to one opinion & proceed further.

Indira Jaising, Senior SC lawyer: I agree with the purpose of the conference. The justices who came out aren't anti-Chief Justice. People of India have the right to know what's going on in the collegium. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Hitesh Jain, BJP Member, Lawyer:  It's a sordid state of affairs. NJAC would have ensured transparency, and today's events might not have happened.

Gopal Narayanan, Senior Lawyer: "The question of the primacy of CJI exists," when asked if the problem was with the constitution of a particular bench.

Ujjwal Nikam, Senior Lawyer: I don't want to advise SC judges. However, there are other means to sort out any problem. This speaks badly of our democracy and judiciary. This is a black day for Judiciary. Today's press conference would cause a bad precedent. From now on every common man could look at all judicial order with suspicion. Every judgment will be questioned.

Retd. Justice Mukul Mudgal: I don't think it's a challenge to the CJI's authority. The four judges should have had compelling reasons. They have a great reputation.

Retd. Justice R Sodhi: Issues don't matter. It is their complaint on the administrative matter. They are only four, there are 23 others. Four of them get together and show the Chief Justice in a poor light. It is immature & childish behavior. I think all 4 judges should be impeached, they have no business to sit there and deliver verdicts anymore. This trade unionism is wrong. Democracy in danger is not for them to say, we have parliament, courts, police functioning

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