India's democracy under threat, say 4 SC judges

Manan Kumar Mishra chairman Bar Council of India | ANI

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said he had not seen such "blatant abuse of power" during his legal career.

Satpathy said that like other wings of democracy, the judiciary, too, be brought under the ambit the Right to Information (RTI) to bring in more transparency.

"At the outset, we four would like to thank each one of you for responding on a very short notice".

"This is an extraordinary event and it is with no pleasure we are doing this..."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today expressed her anguish on the recent developments about the Supreme Court. The press conference was held at Chelameswar's residence.

However, according to them, the CJI was not convinced, which forced the judges to come in front of the people.

"Since all our efforts failed".

Conventionally, it is the outgoing CJI who recommends to the President of India the name of the senior-most judge for appointment as his successor. The Washington-based court in Lucia's case said the SEC's judges don't qualify as officers because their decisions don't become final until the commission itself takes action, either by reviewing the ruling or by explicitly declining to intervene.

On Friday, Justice Gogoi and the other three senior SC judges said there was no transparency in the selection of judges to try cases, calling it a cause for "serious concern".


Justice Chelameswar said "we owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation". Family disputes are never taken to the streets.

While concluding the press conference, Justice Chelameswar said, " There are many wise men saying many wise things in this country.

"There have been instances where a case having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by Chief Justice of this court selectively to benches without rationale basis".

Critics say the SEC fares much better before its own judges than it does in federal court.

"It is a dark day for democracy that even the judges are working under pressure and without independence", he said.

The judges said that they have discharged a debt to the nation by issuing an appeal to the nation to save the institution. Something dire had transpired in the chamber of the CJI on Friday morning which led to the precipitous press conference. Tried to intervene but to no avail. We wanted a particular thing to be done in a particular manner. It was done, but in such a way that it raised further questions on integrity of institution.

Holding that the chief justice was only the first among equals, the four judges contended that there were well-settled and time-honoured conventions guiding the chief justice in dealing with the strength of the bench required or the composition thereof.

Following the press conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for an emergency meeting. The Congress also asked that the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court should hear the petition that sought an inquiry into the death of Judge Brij Gopal Loya in 2014.

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