In a bid to resolve their differences, Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Tuesday reached out to the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court who had hurled accusations against him including on the issue of allocation of PILs of sensitive nature.
The apex court sources said the Chief Justice met the four judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — for about 15 minutes before starting the normal work of the day. Some other judges were also present in the meeting, the sources said. After the meeting, the CJI and the four judges went ahead with their listed business.
Despite optimism expressed on Monday by legal bodies, the crisis in the Supreme Court over complaints against the chief justice seemed far from over. “I think it (crisis) has not been settled. Let’s hope things will be fully settled within 2-3 days,” Attorney General KK Venugopal said. He had asserted on Monday that “everything has been settled” and described the crisis as a “storm in a tea cup.” The Bar Council of India (BCI) had declared “kahani khatam (story is over)” in describing the crisis that erupted on Friday when four senior-most judges launched a virtual revolt against Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh on Tuesday said there was a likelihood of the crisis being resolved by the end of this week. Singh said that when he had handed over the SCBA resolution to the CJI on Sunday, he had got the impression that the crisis would be resolved. “He said the CJI was hopeful that within a week things will return to normalcy.
In its emergency meeting on Saturday, the SCBA had passed a resolution asking the chief justice to convene a full court meeting of the apex court judges and transfer all pending PILs for hearing before the five senior-most judges who are members of the collegium.
Venugopal, the attorney general, also hoped that things will be sorted out in the next few days. Asked whether he had met or spoke with any of the four judges or the CJI, Venugopal said, “Nothing of that sort has happened.”
At the press conference, the four judges had flagged certain problems, including the assigning of cases by the CJI, and said there were certain issues afflicting the country’s highest court.
On Sunday, CJI Misra met a seven-member delegation of the BCI and SCBA’s Singh, and had reportedly assured them that the crisis would be sorted out soon and congeniality would prevail.
On Tuesday, the BCI continued to maintain that there was “absolutely no crisis now”. BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said that a delegation on Tuesday met Justices Gogoi and Lokur, who assured that there was no crisis at all. Asked to react to Venugopal’s statement that things haven’t settled yet, Mishra said: “I don’t know how and why the AGI is saying this. All judges are holding their courts and the work is going on normally in the Supreme Court. Very soon all issues will be settled.”