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Congress says SC judges' revolt is 'extremely disturbing'

13 January 2018

The judges' move highlights the widening rift in the upper echelons of the country's judiciary.

He said the press conference by judges "never happened before". "We are discharging our duty to the nation by telling you what's what". My guess is as good as yours if this was the cue for the press conference. "They have mentioned that there is a threat to democracy and I think it needs to be looked into carefully".

Asked whether they wanted the Chief Justice to be impeached, Justice Chelameswar said, "let the nation decide".

Judge Loya, who was hearing a case relating to the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged fake shootout in which BJP chief Amit Shah was named an accused (later discharged), died of cardiac arrest in 2014.

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In the letter to Chief Justice Misra, the judges said they would not divulge details of their concerns to avoid embarrassing the institution.

KT Thomas, another Keralite, who retired as a judge of the apex court said "now the ball is in the court of Chief Justice (Dipak Misra), who is the best person to resolve the issue". The judges' allegations evoked sharp reactions from a divided legal fraternity of the country with some supporting their cause and others chiding them for immature and childish behaviour.

The succession or the line of Chief Justices is decided on the basis of seniority from the time of their appointment to the Supreme Court. "This is about the institution in totality", Chellur said. Some of the judges are now in the Supreme Court bench. Instead, it was sent to the court where Justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanaoudar were presiding.

Meanwhile, former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee also expressed his dissatisfaction over the development and stated that it would have severe repercussions on the functioning of the judiciary. Bharadwaj told the Indian news agency, ANI. People, including media, are reluctant to discuss judiciary.

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"This has to end...otherwise we will escalate this issue", a senior Congress leader, who attended the meeting, said. "Seen some of the comments". In fact, former SC judge Justice RS Sodhi has gone to the extent of calling for the "impeachment" of the four judges for what he has termed their "immature" act.

Sources in the law ministry said law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had not briefed the prime minister in this regard.

In 2009, Justice Misra became the Chief Justice of the Patna high court and assumed charge as the Chief Justice of the Delhi high court in May 2010. All four judges - Justices Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph are known to be "sober and responsible" and have done what they did because there was no other way to stem the rot in the system. For some reason, particularly the fear of contempt, it is not the case with judiciary.

It is clear that the four judges were extremely unhappy with the assigning of the R.P. Luthra case to the Goel-Lalit bench, which is court No.11, in the court's hierarchy.

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Congress says SC judges' revolt is 'extremely disturbing'