New Delhi, Apr 24: Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and judges in the Supreme Court had a meeting on Monday minutes after Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected an impeachment notice against the CJI. At the longer than usual meeting, justice Misra and other judges agreed to set up an informal four-member team to resolve concerns.
It’s been decided that the team of justices A K Sikri, U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul will engage with other judges and collate their grievances and suggestions and bring them up for discussion during the informal meetings of judges every now and then. There was speculation about a possible full court meeting but the judges, for the time being, did not press for that.
Though a morning meeting of the CJI with apex court judges is a regular affair, what unusual was the length of the huddle. All the courts began work at around 10.45 AM instead of the scheduled 10.30 AM. CJI Misra, who usually holds his court at 10.30 AM, was calm and composed when he entered the packed courtroom along with companion judges — Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, at 10.45 AM.
“I am doing my best”
During the meeting, the issue of appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and other high courts was also raised. In his response, CJI Dipak Misra said he had taken up the issue with the government, which has promised to expedite the appointments. “I am doing my best,” Justice Misra was quoted as saying. Though many judges spoke at the meeting, Justice Chelameswar remained silent.
Justice J Chelameswar, along with justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph on January 12, held an unprecedented press conference over the allocation of cases by the CJI and other issues. The four senior judges of the apex court had said the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place.
Naidu rejects impeachment notice
Naidu rejected the Congress-led opposition’s notice for impeachment of justice Misra before the Supreme Court began its proceedings for the day. “Having considered the material contained in the notice of motion and reflected upon the inputs received in my interaction with legal luminaries and constitutional experts, I am of the firm opinion that the notice of the motion does not deserve to be admitted. Accordingly, I refuse to admit notice of motion,” the Rajya Sabha chairman said.
Naidu held extensive consultations with top legal and constitutional experts, including former chief justices and judges, before taking the decision, sources said. The rejection of the notice came a day after he held the consultations to determine the maintainability of the motion.