Differences erupt in SC: Collegium lashes out at CJI

Supreme Court of India.

New Delhi, Jan 12 (UNI) Senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Jasti Chelameswar, along with three other apex court judges of the SC collegium, at a news conference on Friday, slammed Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and said they were not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but noted that such departures from convention had already damaged the image of the judiciary.

“We are not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged its image to some extent, ” Justice Chelameswar said at the interaction.

The chief justice has the “privilege” to determine the roster, Justice Chelameswar said.

“It is a convention devised for a disciplined and efficient transaction of business not a sign of superior authority-legal or factual, of the chief justice over his colleagues,” Justice Chelameswar asserted .

The justices asserted that members of the judicial body giving “themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches would lead to unpleasant and undesirable consequences.”

“There have been instances where cases having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief Justice of this Court selectively to the benches of their preference without any rationale basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs.” Justice Chelameswar said.

The other three judges, who accompanied him were, Justices Kurian Joseph, Madan Bhimrao Lokur and Ranjan Gogoi.