For the first time in Indian judiciary, four senior most judges of the Supreme Court — Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph — held a press conference on Friday, claiming that the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place.
While addressing the media, the judges went on to say that unless this institution is preserved, “Democracy will not survive in this country.”
Justice J Chelameswar informed the press that they (the four judges) wrote a letter to CJI Dipak Misra some time back, raising important issues.
But all of them “failed to persuade CJI that certain things are not in order and therefore you should take remedial measures. Unfortunately our efforts failed”.
“And all four of us are convinced that democracy is at stake and many things have happened in the recent past,” he said.
Soon after the press conference by the judges, CJI Dipak Misra called Attorney General K K Venugopal for a meeting.
Here is a look at the brief profiles of the four judges who addressed the media earlier on Friday:
Justice J Chelameswar: He is the second most senior judge in the Supreme Court. He was elevated as the judge of top court on 10 October 2011.
The data available on the website of the Supreme Court of India shows that Justice Chelameswar was designated as senior counsel in 1995 after which he was appointed as the additional advocate-general on 13 October 1995.
In the year 1999, Justice Chelameswar was elevated as judge of High Court of Andhra Pradesh. On 3 May 2007, he was elevated as Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court. After being transferred to Kerala High Court, he took the charge as Chief Justice of Kerala on 17 March 2010.
Justice Kurian Joseph: He was elevated as the judge of Supreme Court of India on 8 March, 2013. Justice Joseph’s legal practice began in 1979 in Kerala High Court and on 12 July 2000, he was elevated as a judge of the Kerala High Court.
He served as the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court from 8 February 2010 to 7 March 2013.
Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur: He was appointed as a judge of Supreme Court of India on 4 June 2012.
He enrolled as an advocate on 28 July, 1977. He received his law degree from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Justice Lokur practised in the Supreme Court and at the Delhi High Court.
Justice Lokur had joined Delhi HC as an Additional Judge and on 5 July 1999, he was appointed as a Permanent Judge of that High Court.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi: On 23 April, 2012, he was elevated as judge of the Supreme Court.
On 28 February, 2001, Justice Gogoi was appointed as permanent judge of Gauhati High Court on 28 February, 2001.
After being transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court on 9 September, 2010, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court on 12 February, 2011.