Senior Congress leaders including P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Ahmed Patel, among others, called on party President Rahul Gandhi to brief him about the implications of the four senior judges of the Supreme Court publicly attacking Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Among the other party leaders who visited Gandhi’s residence were Salman Khurshid, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Vivek Tankha, Manish Tewari and K.T.S. Tulsi.
The leaders briefed him about the political and legal implications of the unprecedented development, which was termed as “an extraordinary event in the history of judiciary”.
In an unprecedented move, the four senior-most judges in the Supreme Court burst out in the open on Friday and accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of not strictly adhering to the rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, which they said could create “doubts” about the integrity of the top court.
Speaking to the media at the residence of Justice J. Chelameswar, the judges said the Supreme Court administration was “not in order” and released an undated letter they wrote to Justice Misra in which they conceded that the Chief Justice was the “master of roster” but this was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual, of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.
“Administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. Many things less than desirable have happened in the last few months. We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. We tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order and remedial measures are necessary.
“Unfortunately, our efforts have failed in convincing the Chief Justice of India to take steps to protect this institution,” Justice Chelameswar said at the hurriedly called press conference.
The four judges — justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur, besides Justice Chelameswar — did not, however, refer to any particular matter the Chief Justice had decided in assigning benches.
Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”