This Friday, the Indian political weather became the warmest, this winter season. TV news channels got an opportunity to break news that they never thought that they’d break. Four of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court came in front of the media. They complained about the internal functioning of the judicial system in a press conference. An Indian Express report said, “In an unprecedented move in the country’s judicial history, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had held a press conference on Friday and mounted a virtual revolt against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, questioning him on the ‘selective’ allocation of cases and certain judicial orders passed by him.”
This incident shows the complicated relationship between the nation and its judiciary. But this has not happened for the first time. This kind of a crisis occurred earlier too, during Indira Gandhi’s era. But this time, the judges themselves brought the court outside the court. Some people questioned this act and stated that the four judges broke the judicial protocol. According to these people, a press conference or public opinion has no relevance in such matters. Many also said that it was a black day for Indian judiciary, while others said that the act was historic itself.
Both these opinions may or may not be right. People have said that the press conference has diminished the trust and respect they once had for the Supreme Court. But my question is that if something is wrong, shouldn’t it be reported? It think by talking to the press about the happenings inside the court, they have (to some extent) made democracy possible in the judiciary. The people of India do have a right to know about what is happening in the judiciary as well. By making the judiciary transparent, how could that be unhealthy for a democracy?
This incident is absolutely shocking. I think that it the judges have come forward like this, there must definitely be some reason for it. Some people even questioned the judges’ dignity and tried to politicise the issue and this is where the problem starts. We don’t listen to the alarm that is raised for a serious crisis, we just waste time. Instead of focusing on what the judges revealed in the press conference, we still think about why they did something like this.
In the end, only time will tell the impact of the decision of the four Supreme Court judges. When the people of the country regard the judiciary as their last hope, the conflict within the judiciary does raise many questions and doubts. I want to say that it is true that the prestige of the Supreme Court is in grave danger and I wish there was no press conference. However, sometimes it is necessary to come out when nothing else works. A democracy functions in open spaces and not behind opaque doors. Let’s hope that this situation is solved immediately within the walls of the Supreme Court before it turns into an ugly political drama.