"The four of us are convinced that unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country", Justice Jasti Chelameswar said on the lawns of his residence in the Indian capital.
Reuters could not immediately reach the chief justice for comment. "We collectively tried to persuade CJI that certain things aren't in order so take remedial measures, but unfortunately our efforts failed", said Justice Chelameswar. Talking about the coming out of the Supreme Court judges in the way they had, the Congress President said that such a thing had never happened before and was unprecedented.
# "It is certainly a very serious development which has cast a huge shadow on the Chief Justice".
When reporters asked about the issues, the top court judges said they included "allocation of cases by CJI Dipak Misra". Judicial independence in NJAC still remains with the three judges in the commission as they have the power to veto a judicial post they don't approve of.
All Supreme Court judges should be involved in setting the procedures used to hire and promote judges in various courts in the country, including the high courts, they added.
While crying ourselves hoarse over the opaqueness with which the Collegium operates, can we, at the same time, criticize them for attempting to be transparent about how the institution is functioning? Even this morning, on a particular issue, we, four of us, went and met the Chief Justice with a specific request. When the Memorandum of Procedure was a subject matter of a decision of a Constitution Bench of this court in Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and Anr. vs Union of India, [(2016) 5 SCC 1] it is hard to understand as to how any other bench could have dealt with the matter,"the letter alleged".
"I think the points that have been raised by the four judges are extremely important".
Speaking of late CBI Judge Brijgopal Loya's case - whose death was said to have occurred under mysterious circumstances - Bhushan said: "It should have been listed before senior SC judges in view of the importance of the case, but instead was listed in Court Number 10, which is of Justice Arun Mishra".
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.
Opposition parties today demanded a "thorough probe" into issues flagged by four Supreme Court judges over its functioning, prompting a strong reaction from the ruling BJP that accused its rivals of "politicising internal matters" of the judiciary.
He further said the judiciary must be respected, must be kept independent and made the strongest pillar of democracy.
A storm, similar to the one triggered by Justice Karnan, had also erupted in 2010 when a sitting judge of the Karnataka high court, Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar, had called then Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan names when the judges of the higher judiciary were resisting making their assets public.
█ █ The judiciary is the sanctuary of the common man.
Senior Supreme Court advocate K T S Tulsi said there must have been some compelling reason for these judges to adopt this course of action.