Lawyers' bodies consider ways to end crisis among top judges in SC

7-member delegation of Bar Council to meet SC judges
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Bar Council of India (BCI) held emergency meetings here today to consider ways of ending the crisis in the Supreme Court after four senior judges came out against the Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra, on issues such as allocation of cases to judges.
Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur, and Kurian Joseph—the four senior-most judges after the CJI -- also released a letter that they had sent to him on various issues.
To repeated questions at a press conference, the judges declined to go into the details of the issues they were raising, though Justice Gogoi did at one stage say that the issue on which they had met the CJI yesterday morning was about the allocation of the case relating to the death of CBI Judge B H Loya in Mumbai, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter death, in which current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah had been named as an accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2010.
SCBA President Vikas said at a press conference after the meeting of the association that the situation arising out of the judges' action could have grave consequences for the future of the court.
The SCBA adopted a resolution saying that the differences reported in the press conference by the judges and in media reports were of grave concern and should be immediately considered by the full court of the Supreme Court.
The SCBA also resolved unanimously that all public interest litigation (PIL) matters, including the pending PIL matters, should be either taken up up by the CJI or, if he has to assign another bench, it should be assigned to the judges in the collegium, which consists of the CJI and the four senior most judges after him.
"Even maters listed on Monday, January 15, should also be transferred as per our request so that they are assigned to one of the first courts of the Supreme Court," he said.
Mr. Vikas Singh said the SCBA also felt, henceforth, a system should be developed that PILs should not go beyond the first five courts of the Supreme Court.
Office-bearers of the SCBA would seek a meeting with the judges of the court to discuss these issues, he said.
BCI President Manan Kumar Mishra told newspersons that the council had formed a seven-member team which would meet all the judges of the Supreme Court in the next day or two and attempt to iron out the differences and chart a course for the future.
He said more than half of the judges had granted them appointments for tomorrow and they were in touch with the others in this regard.
Mr. Mishra also decried alleged attempts to politicise the issue and urged political parties and leaders to stay out of the controversy so that it could be discussed and sorted out within the judiciary. He said the controversy, if it did not end soon, would cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the judiciary.
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