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Jan 14, 2018 09:37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

SC judges, lawyers' bodies hold hectic parleys over Supreme Court crisis

Two top court judges - justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao - met Justice J Chelameswar, who had led the four judges in the unprecedented press conference, at his official residence.

Hectic parleys were going on today among Supreme Court judges over the crisis that has erupted after the virtual revolt by four seniormost judges of the apex court against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

The Chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Manan Kumar Mishra spoke to reporters today after a round of discussions with the Chief Justice of India. He stated that they shall soon arrive at a resolution.

According CNN News 18, he also said that they had had also met the Justices Kurien and Chelameshwar.

"We met the honorable Chief Justice in a very congenial atmosphere. everything will be sorted out," he said. He further said that there will be a press conference on January 15 at 1pm.

Earlier in the day, two top court judges — justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao — met Justice J Chelameswar, who had led the four judges in the unprecedented press conference, at his official residence here, sources said.

The meeting of these judges took place soon after a seven-member delegation of the Bar Council of India (BCI), the regulatory body of lawyers, met Justice Chelameswar at his residence to discuss the crisis that has hit the judiciary.

Also read: SC crisis: 4 retired judges write open letter to Chief Justice of India

The BCI delegation, led by its Chairman and senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, met all the apex court judges today to discuss the issue.

Sources said the delegation has already met several apex court judges, including Justice RK Agrawal.

The apex lawyers' body had yesterday held a meeting to discuss the developments that have surfaced after the January 12 press conference by justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.

These four judges had raised a litany of problems, including the assigning of cases in the apex court, and said there were certain issues afflicting the country's highest court.

The BCI had termed the press conference by the judges as an "unfortunate step" and said, "From the letter of the judges, it appears that there were certain differences between the chief justice of India and these judges on the issues relating to the roster and the listing of some cases."

It had constituted a seven-member delegation to meet the apex court judges and make them acquainted with the views of the bar.

"The delegation would request them (judges) to resolve the issue at the earliest. The council is of the unanimous view that it is an internal matter of the Supreme Court," the BCI has said in its press statement.

It has also cautioned political parties and politicians "not to criticise the judiciary and/or to make it an issue because it would weaken the independence of our judiciary which is the protector of our democracy".

The council has also expressed the hope that judges of the top court would realise the "seriousness of the issue and in future, they may avoid any such situation of which the politicians or the political parties could take undue advantage and/or which could cause harm to our judiciary".

Besides Manan Kumar Mishra, the delegation comprises BCI co-chairman S Prabakaran and other members -- Vijay Bhatt, Apurba Kumar Sharma, Pratap C Mehta, Rameshchandra G Shah and T S Ajith. BCI's vice-chairman Satish A Deshmukh is a special invitee of the delegation.

Yesterday, Justice Gogoi had said, "there is no crisis" while Justice Joseph had said that there was no need for an outside intervention to solve the issue.

Regarding these statements, the BCI has said, "These are positive statements in strengthening the Indian judiciary and it establishes that the matter would be resolved soon."

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had yesterday expressed "grave concern" over the differences of the four seniormost judges with the CJI and had said the issue should be immediately considered by the full court of the apex court.

The SCBA executive committee, which held an emergency meeting, had resolved that all public interest litigation (PIL) matters, including the pending PILs, should be either taken up by the CJI or be assigned for adjudication to four senior judges who were part of the apex court collegium.

Besides CJI Misra, others in the collegium in accordance with seniority are -- justices Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur and Joseph.

(With inputs from PTI)
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