Judges revolt: Chief Justice Dipak Misra may meet revolting judges today  

New Delhi, Jan 14: Chief Justice Dipak Misra and the four senior-most rebel judges may meet on Sunday to resolve the problems raked up by them as two of the dissenting judges on Saturday sought to play down the issue.

The three judges among the four, who came out in open against the Chief Justice of India at a press conference at Justice Jasti Chelameswar’s house on Friday, was away from New Delhi and are expected to return on Sunday afternoon.

The news of the meeting was on air on Saturday afternoon and there was no official confirmation to this.

According to the available indications, efforts to reach a consensus and find an amicable solution could be worked out between the warring senior judges and CJI for which the Attorney General K. K. Venugopal, the government’s highest law officer could take efforts.

Meanwhile, speaking to media persons at Kochi, Justice Kurian Joseph said that there was no constitutional crisis in the Supreme Court and the issues they had raised on previous day appeared to have been sorted out.

“We did this for a cause and I think (the) issues appear to have been sorted out. This was not against anyone nor we are having anything personal. It was brought in more transparency in the system,” said Justice Joseph.

He also said that the issues they had raised through an unprecedented press conference on Friday triggered no constitutional crisis.

“There will be no constitutional crisis and there are only problems in procedures and that will be corrected.”

He said the judges had “written everything in the letter” they released on Friday and which they had sent to Chief Justice of India a couple of months ago.

When asked about the way in which press conference was conducted and its ramification on judiciary he said “Any problem, everyone can see two sides. Whatever we have to say we have written in the letter.”

In reply to a question on why they failed to brief the President of the issues, he said the President is only the appointing authority.

Another judge on the revolt front, Ranjan Gogoi, who was in Kolkata for a meeting of legal services authorities, also ruled out any crisis hitting the top court.

“There is no crisis,” said Gogoi and refused to make further comments.

The Attorney General of India KK Venugopal, meanwhile, expressed the hope that the problems in the top judiciary would be “settled” by Monday itself.

“We hope the entire issue will be settled in the larger interest of the institution. Judges are persons of wisdom and statesmanship and experience. We hope they won’t allow the issue to escalate, unity among Supreme Court judges will return by Monday” Venugopal said at New Delhi.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) met here on Saturday and unanimously decided that a 7-member delegation of the bar would try to meet the majority of Supreme Court judges on Sunday in an attempt to persuade them to resolve the issue at the earliest.

“We are ready to offer our mediation,” Manan Misra, BCI President, told the media after the meeting. He said the matter should not be politicised.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra was on Saturday morning seen going to the residence of the Chief Justice. He was seen sitting inside his official car which returned from the gate of the Chief Justice’s residence without entering the premises.

The Congress asked Modi to explain why he sent his aide to Justice Misra’s residence.

“As PM’s Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra visits CJI’s residence at 5, Krishna Menon Marg. (The) PM must answer the reason for sending this special messenger to (the) Chief Justice of India,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The revolt by Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur surfaced in a press conference in which they accused the Chief Justice of not strictly adhering to the rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, which they said could create “doubts” about the integrity of the top court.

(With Agency Inputs)

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