‘Democracy in Danger’, Says Congress on SC Judges’ Press Conference

New Delhi, Jan 12: The Congress party on Friday said it was “very concerned” about the matter of four senior Supreme Court judges going public with complaints against the functioning of the Supreme Court. In a tweet, the Congress party said the development implies “democracy was in danger”.

“We are very concerned to hear 4 judges of the Supreme Court expressed concerns about the functioning of the Supreme Court. #DemocracyInDanger,” the Congress made a post on its official Twitter handle. Senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal will meet party president Rahul Gandhi over the press conference by four Supreme Court judges.

In an unprecedented press conference earlier on Friday, the four judges- Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurien Joseph, Ranjan Gogoi and J Chelameswar– said that “things are not in order” at the Supreme Court. Addressing the media, the senior-most judges launched a sharp attack on Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra for “ignoring the concerns voiced by them”.

“Administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. Many things less than desirable have happened in the last few months. We owe a responsibility to the institution and the nation. We tried to collectively persuade the Chief Justice that certain things are not in order and remedial measures are necessary. Unfortunately, our efforts have failed in convincing the Chief Justice of India to take steps to protect this institution,” Justice Chelameswar said

The four judges did not refer to any particular matter the Chief Justice had decided in assigning benches. Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.” But in the seven-page letter, they said they were not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution because “such departures have already damaged the images of this institution to some extent”.

Justice Chelameswar told the media that they were “convinced that unless this institution is protected and maintain its requirements, democracy will not survive in the country or any country. “For the survival of a democracy, it is said… the hallmark of a democracy is independent and impartial judges.” Justice Gogoi said they were “discharging debt to the nation that has got us here”.

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