An unheard occurrence shook up the judicial system of India on Friday when four top Supreme Court judges virtually rebelled against the Chief Justice of India on Friday, saying the apex court was beset by problems that had the potential to destroy Indian democracy. Justice Ranjan Gogoi from Assam was one of the four judges along with Justice J Chelameswar, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph who went public with their grievances against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Gogoi’s participation in this is particularly noteworthy because he is all set to succeed Misra as the next Chief Justice of India. He is the son of Keshab Chandra Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam.
The four senior judges held a press meet to say the ‘sometimes administration of the Supreme Court was not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months. unless the judiciary was preserved, democracy can’t be protected in the country.’ The justices did not elaborate on the issues ‘only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged the image of this institution to some extent.’
They sent a seven-page letter to the Chief Justice, (read below), saying while he was the ‘master of the roster’, he was ‘only the first among equals — nothing more or nothing less.’ It looks like they did not agree with the allocation of work by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
The open dissent has left the judiciary and observers stunned, leaving uncertain how this open dissension in the hallowed institution would be resolved.
All judges rubbished questions on whether they have broken ranks and said that they will start doing things which they do.
Justice Gogoi said, ‘Nobody is breaking the rank and it is discharge of debt to nation which we have done.’ Gogoi, who will be succeeding Misra as CJI in October this year, said, ‘it’s a discharge of debt to the nation which we have done.’
After the press conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the law minister and officers to discuss the issue.