‘Judges’ press meet was Black Friday of judiciary’

In a case of shifting goal posts, Asok Pande, who once challenged the Chief Justice of India’s role as master of roster, has now filed a PIL petition for removal of four seniormost Supreme Court judges for their “contemptuous” act of holding the January 12 presser against their “boss” CJI Dipak Misra.

In the press conference, the four judges — Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph — had red-flagged the virtually unchecked powers of the CJI as master of roster to allocate sensitive cases to his preferred Benches.

Previous petition

Mr. Pande had initially challenged the Chief Justice’s “arbitrary” powers as master of roster. His PIL had sought a transparent procedure for allocation of cases in the Supreme Court.

In his second PIL, however, Mr. Pande seems to have seen the light when he himself agrees that the “Chief justice is the boss.”

“He is the head of the institution. He is the master of roster. He can allot any case to any judge,” he urges. He said the four judges who held the press conference should be removed.

“The judges gave an impression as if they are crusaders and have come to address the press conference with the view to save democracy... no doubt, to come forward to save the democracy and to uphold the Constitution is duty of every citizen. But that does not mean that in the name of saving democracy, one can break the law and start beating/abusing /misbehaving his boss,” the petition said.

The petition, which was mentioned before Chief Justice Misra on April 27, said steps should be taken to initiate contempt proceedings against the four judges — who have been made parties in the case — “for committing wilful and deliberate contempt of the court by addressing the press conference against the Chief Justice of India.”

The petition said the day of the press meet was the “Black Friday of the Indian judiciary.”

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 9:26:08 AM |

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