One of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court Justice J Chelameshwar wrote to Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra, expressing his concerns over the independence of the apex court.
“We, the judges of the Supreme Court of India, are being accused of ceding our independence and our institutional integrity to the Executive’s incremental encroachment. The Executive is always impatient, and brooks no disobedience even of the judiciary if it can. Attempts were always made to treat the Chief Justices as the Departmental Heads in the Secretariat. So much for our independence and pre-eminence as a distinct State organ,” said Justice Chelameswar addressing to Dipak Mishra.
Justice Chelameswar is one of those judges who had held unprecedented press conference and criticized Dipak Mishra on the handling of the administration.
“To my mind, I could recollect no instance from the past of the executive bypassing the Supreme Court, more particularly while its recommendations are pending, and asking the High Court, as if it were an interdepartmental matter, to look into the allegations already falsified and conclusively rejected by us,” he further wrote.
“Let us also not forget that the bonhomie between the judiciary and the government in any state sounds the death knell to democracy. We both are mutual watchdogs, so to say, not mutual admirers, much less constitutional cohorts,” said Justice Chelameswar about the relation between the Supreme Court.
“I am of the opinion that this matter is now ripe for the consideration of the Full Court on the judicial side, if this institution really is to be any more relevant in the scheme of the Constitution,” he continued.
He wrote this letter on the issue of selection of the judges for the apex court. The central government has been sitting on two names for the apex court since January. One of them is Justice KM Joseph who quashed the President’s rule in Uttarakhand in April 2016.