No Solution Found Yet To Problems Facing Top Court, Says Justice Chelameswar
Supreme Court of India (Source: Supreme Court of India website)

No Solution Found Yet To Problems Facing Top Court, Says Justice Chelameswar

“There is nothing to be settled because it is not a dispute,” Senior Supreme Court Judge Justice J Chelameswar told BloombergQuint in an exclusive interview, referring to the rift in India’s top court that prompted four senior judges to call an unprecedented press conference on Jan. 12

Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra met the four judges who had publicly questioned him for what they called selectively assigning matters of national importance to judges.

“It is a problem and the solution needs to be found. And nothing has been found so far,” Justice Chelameswar said.

The four judges – Justice Chelamwswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph – said at the press conference that they had tried to collectively persuade Misra that “certain things are not in order”. They had released, to the media, copies of a letter they had written to the Chief Justice two months ago highlighting their concerns: principal among them was the selection of benches to hear matters and the procedure to appoint judges by the Supreme Court Collegium.

Despite optimism expressed yesterday by legal bodies, the crisis in the Supreme Court over complaints against the Chief Justice of India seemed far from over. The Supreme Court Bar Association’s executive committee passed a resolution asking for a full bench hearing. Yesterday, Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and Attorney General of India KK Venugopal had said the crisis has ended and there is no dispute.

In a departure from that statement, the Attorney General of India today told newswire agency PTI, “I think it (crisis) has not been settled. Let’s hope things will be fully settled within 2-3 days.”

It seems unlikely that a resolution would be reached any time soon as "the fissures run very deep", Aman Lekhi, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, told BloombergQuint. The fact that the four judges held a press conference itself suggests "the problems are grave" and the differences between the two parties are "definitely very serious", he added.

The waters had been muddied by the press conference. They became muddier still by the Bar Association’s resolution. And it became worse with the Bar Council jumping in.
Aman Lekhi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.