CJI vs SC judges: Dipak Misra meets lawyers’ bodies, says crisis will be sorted out soon

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Sunday assured a Bar Council of India delegation that the crisis in the Supreme Court resulting from a virtual revolt against him by four colleagues will be sorted out soon.

A delegation of the BCI, the highest body of lawyers in the nation, met the CJI at his residence for 50 minutes.

“We met CJI in a congenial atmosphere and he said everything will be sorted out soon,” BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, who led the delegation, told reporters.

He said that before meeting the CJI, the panel also discussed the crisis plaguing the apex judiciary with other judges including the three out of the four judges who have made the allegations against Misra.

Mishra said the panel met justices Chelameshwar, Lokur, and Joseph, who also gave an assurance that the crisis will be resolved.

He did not mention whether the panel had a meeting with Gogoi, who is out of town. Gogoi is next in line to succeed Misra as the chief justice.

Earlier, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh met the CJI and handed over a resolution in which the association has asked for a full court discussion to defuse the present crisis.

“I met the CJI and handed over a copy of the resolution. He said that he would look into it and ensure there was congeniality in the Supreme Court at the earliest,” Singh told PTI after his 15-minute meeting with the CJI.

The Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on Friday when four senior Supreme Court judges – J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph had convened an unprecedented press conference to complain about ‘selective’ case allocation by Misra and passing of certain judicial order. 

Justice Chelameswar, the second senior judge after the CJI, himself had described as an “extraordinary event” in the annals of the Indian judiciary when the judges addressed a joint news conference during which he had said “sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months.”

The judge had accused Justice Misra of not taking any “remedial measures” on some of the issues which affected the functioning of the apex court that they had raised. Justice Misra became the CJI on August 28, 2017, and he is due to retire from on October 2, 2018.

Unless this institution is preserved, “democracy will not survive” in this country, Justice Chelameswar had said.

He had also said that all the four judges had “failed to persuade CJI that certain things are not in order and therefore you should take remedial measures. Unfortunately, our efforts failed.”

Asked what these issues were, he had said they included the “allocation of cases by CJI” and had added, “we owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. Our efforts have failed in convincing CJI to take steps to protect the institution.”

Asked whether they wanted the Chief Justice to be impeached, he had said, “let the nation decide.”

(With PTI inputs)