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Internal rift

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The press conference held by four senior judges of the Supreme Court to air their grievances against the Chief Justice of India appears to be more a clash of egos than about seeking ways and means to redress them (Editorial – “Judiciary in turmoil”, January 13). Knowing full well that the media is not going to solve the issue, the best course for them would have been to approach the President of India had they really had deep-rooted issues as obstacles.

Their move has only flooded the media with speculation that is going viral and which seeks to demonise the personality as well as the judiciary. The perception that the judiciary is apolitical seems to have been destroyed in one stroke with one of the judges having met with a politician, thus rendering the claims of the four judges of trying to save democracy opaque. Any judgment delivered in future by the ‘rebel’ judges is bound to be viewed with suspicion, devaluing further the stature of an already wounded judiciary.

M.V. Gopalakrishnan,

Chennai

The crux of the matter boils down to whether it was right or wrong for the “rebel” judges to have held a press conference and ‘tell it all’. Opinion may be divided equally on its merits. But what tilts the balance in their favour is this: had they not gone public, the murmurs on the wars within the Supreme Court would have sooner rather than later reverberated in the media, with more spin being added to them. The Chief Justice of India’s prerogative on deciding the roster is not contested. Whether there is deliberate design in the choice of the Bench “of their preferences” is the villain of the piece. It reveals more than it conceals. The issue raised by the four judges must not cloud the substance of the differences.

V.N. Gopal,

Chennai

The concerns the four judges have raised are genuine and should have been addressed years ago. The highest level of the judiciary cannot and should not function under a cloud of opaqueness. However, the actions of the four judges will be detrimental to the credibility of the institution and their grievances should have been dealt with through internal mechanisms. Their actions are bound to set a precedent. Conspiracy theories are already making rounds with the political angle being thrown in. The issue is simply a dialogue between two varying streams of thought, which, unfortunately, got out of hand. One only hopes that saner thought prevails and the matter is settled amicably resulting in more transparent procedures and conventions without actually compromising on judicial independence.

Bipin Thaivalappil,

Payyannur, Kerala

In the ultmiate analysis, the only guarantee of justice is the propriety of judges. Honesty, integrity, an independent approach and upright behaviour are some of the essential qualities of a judge. The Supreme Court is supreme among the three organs of the Constitution as it is not only a court of law but also a court of justice. The integrity of the court must be preserved as a constitutional bulwark, against bureaucratic abuse and excess. All judges are responsible for the strict observance of the judicial principle of propriety, an inseparable part of the judiciary.

P.N. Ramachandran,

Patterpalam, Kerala

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 7:02:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/internal-rift/article22451777.ece

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