New Delhi: Supreme Court Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur have written to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, urging him to call a “full court” on the judicial side to discuss “institutional issues” and the “future” of India’s highest court of the judiciary, Indian Express reported. Justice Gogoi is expected to succeed CJI Misra who demits office in October.
The brief, two-sentence letter by the apex court’s senior judges was delivered the CJI on April 22, two days after seven opposition parties – led by Congress – moved an impeachment motion against Misra. The motion was rejected by the Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on April 23 due to “lack of substantial merit”.
The CJI, on his part, has not yet responded to the letter. Sources told the daily that the issue of calling a full court was raised by several judges during the customary morning meeting of all SC judges on April 23. CJI Misra, however, was non-committal on the matter.
According to Indian Express, a full court meeting of the apex court is usually convened by the CJI in situations when a matter of public importance relating to the judiciary comes up. Such meetings involve all the judges.
This, however, is not the first time that top Supreme Court judges have written to CJI Misra. Over the past few months, the chief justice has received a series of such letters. According to Scroll, earlier this month, Justice Kurian Joseph wrote to the CJI and urged the apex court to act against the delay in approving two appointments to the court despite the collegium’s recommendation. The appointments in question are of Justice K.M. Joseph and Indu Malhotra. Justice Joseph, in his letter, had then stated that the government “sitting over the recommendations of the collegium doing nothing, in administrative law, is abuse of power”.
In March, Justice Jasti Chelameswar had also written to the chief justice to highlight the government’s interference in judiciary. Taking exception to Karnataka chief justice launching an inquiry against a subordinate judge based on a complaint forwarded directly by the Union government, Chelameswar had sought a full court sitting to discuss the issue. According to Indian Express, CJI Misra did not reply to the letter or call a full court, as was requested.
Before that, in an open letter in January, former judges had written to Misra, urging him to ensure that ‘master of roster’ power is not misused. This was just two days after Supreme Court Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph held a historic press conference in Delhi to discuss administrative issues plaguing the Supreme Court and raised questions about the the chief justice’s procedure to allocates cases to the different benches.