The political ramifications of the unprecedented press conference of four sitting Supreme Court judges have begun to play out, with Congress President Rahul highlighting what is believed to be the immediate provocation for the judges' protest—allocation of the case pertaining to the death of Judge B.H. Loya.
“The judges mentioned threat to democracy. That should be looked into carefully. They also made a point about Judge Loya's case. That should be investigated properly at the highest levels of the Supreme Court,” Rahul said in his brief statement to reporters at the Congress headquarters this evening.
Judge Loya's case appears to have been the tipping point for the four top court judges, members of the collegium, to go public with their grievances with the manner in which Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra was undertaking administration of court business.
The petition with regard to investigation of the circumstances in which Judge Loya, who was hearing the case related to the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter, was assigned to a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M.M. Shantanagoudar. The bench heard the matter on Friday amidst protestations that the apex court need not hear the petition demanding investigation into the death of Judge Loya since the Bombay High Court was already seized of the matter.
The four judges who came out against the working of the SC are learnt to have been upset over the manner in which politically sensitive cases are being allocated to benches, the latest being the case of Judge Loya.
At the Congress' special briefing with regard to the judges' press conference, Randeep Surjewala, head of the AICC Communications department, said the issues raised by them are extremely disturbing and have far reaching consequences for safeguarding democracy and preserving the independence of the judiciary.
In an attack on the Narendra Modi government, Surjewala said one of the issues raised by the judges was on the long silence of the government to the Memorandum of Procedure that was finalised by the Supreme Court.
He also said that the assignment of cases “selectively to the benches” was also an issue, including the case of Judge Loya.
“The Congress party earnestly appeals that the full court of the Supreme Court should take up the issues raised by the four Honourable Judges and find solutions that are consistent with the traditions and conventions of the judiciary,” he said.
The BJP and the government have so far maintained silence on the issues raised by the four judges.