Four senior-most SC judges attend court, BCI says "story over"
The unprecedented crisis that rocked the Supreme Court appeared to ease today with four top Supreme Court judges--who had virtually revolted against the Chief Justice--attending work as usual and the Bar Council of India (BCI) saying "the story is now over."
Describing the crisis as a "storm in a tea cup", Attorney General K K Venugopal also said the issue has been settled.
Belying the simmering tensions sparked by their public accusations against Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the four judges -- Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph -- took up their respective business on the first working day of the top court after their January 12 press conference when they dropped a bombshell with various complaints.
Warning that democracy is at risk, the judges had raised questions about the "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders by Justice Misra, sending shockwaves across the judiciary and polity.
The BCI said its members met yesterday 15 judges of the Supreme Court who have assured that the issues have been resolved.
The judges included three of the four dissenters while Justice Gogoi was not in the capital yesterday. The current strength of the apex court including the CJI is 25.
"Kahani khatam ho gaya" (the story is now over), BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra told a press conference here.
He also said that political parties should not try and earn mileage out of the four justices accusations at the press conference -- unprecedented in the annals of Indian judiciary.
"We met 15 judges and all have assured that issues have been resolved," he said.
To a question whether any action should be taken against the four judges for criticising the Chief Justice of India, he said there is no need of any action and they "are all honest and men of integrity."
Meanwhile, Attorney General Venugopal told NDTV: "Now everything has been settled. The courts are functioning. It was a storm in a tea cup." He did not elaborate.
Yesterday, the chief justice had met a seven-member delegation of the BCI as well as the Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh at his residence. After the meeting, the visitors told reporters that the CJI had assured them that the crisis would be sorted out soon and congeniality would prevail.