Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Posted at: Jan 12, 2018, 2:12 PM; last updated: Jan 12, 2018, 4:27 PM (IST)

Can't criticise judges, they are men of great integrity: Swamy

Can't criticise judges, they are men of great integrity: Swamy
Subramanian Swamy.

Chandigarh, January 12

Reactions started coming in soon after the four top Supreme Court judges held a press conference alleging that the situation in the top court was "not in order" and many "less than desirable" things have taken place.  

Senior advocates KTS Tulsi, former union law ministers Salman Khurshid and Ashwini Kumar, former judges Justice RS Sodhi and Justice Mukul Mudgal expressed concern over the unprecedented press conference, while senior advocate Indira Jaising welcomed the move and congratulated the four judges.

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said when such judges came out to do a press conference, it was necessary to take them seriously rather than finding fault.

Swamy said the Prime Minister should take an initiative and contact the Chief Justice and the four judges to resolve the whole situation through the process of consultation.

However, Justice Sodhi questioned the move of the top judges approaching the media and asked how they can administer the Supreme Court through press conferences.

"I am so pained at the outcome of the things... It is appalling. How can you administer Supreme Court by press conference? Are you going to hold a referendum and ask people what is right and wrong," Justice Sodhi said.

Justice Mudgal said the four senior-most judges were bringing the issues to light, which according to them was necessary to be brought to the public notice.

He said they must have had compelling reasons to go public and "they are not publicity hungry judges and do not crave for unnecessary publicity".

Terming the press conference as "a welcome step", senior lawyer Indira Jaising congratulated the four judges for the "bold move" and said: "As they said they are discharging a debt to history, namely to let the nation know that something is going wrong and needs to be corrected".

She said the intention of the press meet was "to build a consensus to owe a debt of duty to the institution as a whole and ensure that this institution survives for you and me".

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan also termed the event unprecedented and said the judges took extreme decision to hold press conference under compelling circumstances.

"These four judges are very responsible. If they are doing this, the situation would have definitely gone out of control (sic). They said the CJI was misusing his administrative powers to allot all cases," Bhushan said.

Another senior advocate, KTS Tulsi, said, “It's quite shocking. There must have been compelling reasons for the senior-most judges to have adopted this course of action. One could see pain on their faces while they were speaking”.

Similarly, former union minister and senior advocate Khurshid said there were some deep differences among the judges about how the apex court should function, terming it as a matter of anguish.

"I can only hope that conversation among the judges will not snap and will continue and that with accommodation and logic it will be settled. It has come too far," Khurshid said.

Former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar said it was "a sad day for Indian democracy".

"This press conference is a strike at the root of the institutional integrity of the higher judiciary. It has raised question marks about the credibility of the system as such and has directly cast aspersions at the head of the Indian judiciary.”

"I think the people of this country who have had highest regard to the highest judiciary would now be forced to think aloud as to whether we have gone gravely wrong somewhere," he said.

However, Justice RS Sodhi (Retd) condemned the judges' action, and asked for their impeachment.

He told ANI: “I think all four judges should be impeached, they have no business to sit there and deliver verdicts anymore. This trade unionism is wrong. Democracy in danger is not for them to say, we have parliament, courts, police functioning.”

Congress meanwhile voiced concern over the developments. TNS/ Agencies


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