BJP, Congress lock horns over Supreme Court judges row

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The four justices at Friday's news conference - besides Chelameswar, they included Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph - are the most senior after Misra.

They said any departure from the two rules would not only lead to "unpleasant and undesirable consequences of creating doubt in the body politic about the integrity of the institution" but would create "chaos". "It is too well settled in the jurisprudence of this country that the Chief Justice is only the first amongst the equals - nothing more or nothing less", the letter said.

# "It is certainly a very serious development which has cast a huge shadow on the Chief Justice".

The judges said that they are forced to "address the nation" as the Chief Justice Dipak Misra was not ready to listen their reservation. "Democracy can not survive without an independent judiciary", the judge added.

All Supreme Court judges should be involved in setting the procedures used to hire and promote judges in all the country's courts, they added.

Arun Mishra had served 15 years as a high court judge before being elevated to the Supreme Court in July 2014. Judicial work is primarily allocated based on a roster, and individual cases are allotted to Benches based on the category under which they fall.

However, according to them, the CJI was not convinced, which forced the judges to come in front of the people. Stand firmly with the four judges.

The remarks are being seen in a significant manner as the top court today took up for consideration petitions requesting for an independent probe into the death of judge Loya who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case of 2004, in which various police officers and BJP's National President Amit Shah have been named as parties.

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The four judges said they were not resigning and would be back in court on Monday. The judges have expressed displeasure over delays in finalising the MoP and observed that the government's "silence" on the matter meant that a draft sent to it in March 2017 had been accepted.

In a nutshell, the letter cites Chief Justice Misra's listing of matters of constitutional importance before benches excluding the senior most judges, as the main gripe of the four judges.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had steered clear of the rift within the Supreme Court through the day, attacked the Congress for wading into the controversy on Friday evening that the ruling party insisted, was essentially an internal matter of the Supreme Court.

Congress leader and advocate Salman Khurshid said it is the Chief Jistice's responsibility to set things right as the "greatest (of the judges)" and "head of the institution".

He said it was necessary for the three wings of democracy - the executive, the legislature and the judiciary - to ensure that whatever issues had been raised were corrected.

"The Congress earnestly appeals that the Full Court of the Supreme Court should take up the issues raised by the four the judges and find solutions that are consistent with the traditions and conventions of the judiciary pointed out by the judges and that will preserve the independence of the judiciary", it said.

█ █ The judiciary is the sanctuary of the common man.