NEW DELHI: SC- top judges conflicts knocked in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case three years ago when the Supreme Court (SC) invigorated the collegium system for the selection of judges to constitutional courts, roaring on Friday when the dissatisfaction among the top five SC judges exchanged blows in the open.
The most recent set off for the exceptional press conference by the four most senior judges who are Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — may have been CJI Dipak Misra's negative response to agree to their request to delete the PIL looking for a investigation into CBI judge B M Loya's death from the list of business before court number 10 but the agitation over not being assigned important cases that get space in newspapers and TV channels was rumbling for a long time, even before Misra took charge of the top post as CJI in August last year.
Justice Chelameswar had remonstrated not in favor of the manner in which the collegium worked and even remained away from its meetings while made his mind up to put written remarks on file for the selection of judges of the SC and HCs during the term of then CJI T S Thakur and continued with his stand during CJI H S Khehar's term. However, he had joined collegium meetings during CJI Misra's tenure.
major conflicts between Justice Chelameswar and CJI Misra aired in public when a PIL lodged by the Committee for Judicial Accountability and Reforms alleging judges' connection in a medical scam was referred for the imperative hearing under a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar in December last year. Justice Chelameswar put it up for hearing the next day. But, as is the practice in the SC, the petition got alluded to the CJI as the master of Rota and he referred it to a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri.
But before the Justice Sikri-led bench could hear it the next day, another Plea by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, which was the same to the one lodged by the NGO, was mentioned for hearing under the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar with a request of urgent hearing. Justice Chelameswar ordered a hearing on the petition at 12.45 pm and issued an order to place the petition before a five-judge bench in which the CJI and the next four most senior judges involved.
As implied allegations which were made against the CJI, with the petitioner's recommend mentioning the detain of a former Orissa HC judge by the CBI for allegedly receiving a bribe to fix a case concerning to a medical college and this plea grabbed all eyeballs. The other bench headed by Justice Sikri issued the order to be placed it before the CJI for hearing before a proper bench.