Indian Supreme Court judges say administration in apex body not in order

Four judges publicly questioned Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra over the allocation of work and the constitution of benches

Justice J Chelameswar today said the administration of the apex court is "sometimes not in order" and many "less than desirable things" have taken place. Along with her, the five-judge Collegium has also cleared the name of Justice KM Joseph, the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, for appointment as a judge of Supreme Court.

In an unprecedented move, four sitting judges of the Supreme Court of India on Friday slammed administration of the top court for not being in order.

Justice Chelameswar said he and his fellow judges felt they owe the nation an explanation and felt compelled to update citizens on the situation.

"It is an extraordinary event in the history of judiciary and more particularly in this nation, even for this institution (Supreme Court)".

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The judges said they were making their disagreement with Chief Justice Dipak Mishra public after private talks failed to address what they said were serious problems with the running of India's highest court. "Hope we get at the truth of judge Loya's death", he said referring to special CBI judge BH Loya whose death has come under the scanner after a news magazine raised questions about the circumstances in which he died. Unfortunately we could not convince him.

Senior counsel and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium too was recommended for appointment as judge of the apex court straight from the top court's bar.

According to the latest report, as soon as the judges called for a press conference, PM Modi met Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to discuss issues in this regard.

The letter that was addressed by these four judges to Misra suggests that as "master of the roster" the CJI had not exercised his power to assign cases to various benches in accordance with conventional rules of bench composition and strength. Justice Chelameswar was earlier the chief justice of the Kerala High Court.

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The collegium has also approved the elevation of six judges as chief justices of high courts. We wanted a particular thing to be done in a particular manner.

Justice Chelameshwar said on Friday that they had written a letter to CJI Misra about their grievances adding that the letter will be shared with the media soon.

It is pertinent to note that in the first 39 years of its existence, the Supreme Court's judiciary had no woman member. "Therefore, we placed facts before the nation", Justice Chelameswar said.

The Bombay High Court will hear a petition asking for an investigation of Judge Loya's death, on January 23.

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The court was hearing two separate pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of judge Loya, who presided over the case in connection with the alleged staged encounter of suspected extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

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