The rift in judiciary that came to the notice of Indian public through the press conference held by four most senior judges of the Supreme Court sent ripples down the country. The judges highlighted the lack of transparency in allocation of cases with far reaching consequences and the allotment of important and sensitive cases to junior judges by CJI, Dipak Misra. Dissenting judges included Justice J Chelameshwar, Justice M B Lokur, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Kurian Joseph. They said that the press conference was unavoidable after making no headway in the meeting with the CJI to vent their concerns.
However, judiciary sources claimed that this was not so and said that there was a fair distribution of cases among the judges.
In this context, an open letter was written to the CJI by four retired judges, Justices P B Sawant, K Chandru, A P Shah and H Suresh, the first being from the Supreme Court and the next three retiring from High Court. Therein, they asked the CJI for a fair, rational and transparent process of allocation of cases. This alone, they felt could give people an assurance of there being no misuse of power for achieving a specific result in important and sensitive cases. They further added that allotment of important and sensitive cases to a select few junior judges in an arbitrary manner by the CJI was not done. They offered a suggestion in the letter to let important and sensitive cases even the pending ones to be dealt by a Constitution Bench of 5 senior most Supreme Court judges till clear rules and norms were laid down for allocation of cases.
Suggestion on similar lines was put forward by Supreme Court Bar Association, a body representing the Supreme Court lawyers, yesterday. They seemed to go along with the dissenting judges.