Justice Chelameswar Says, Subtle Efforts To Influence The Judiciary Happens


New Delhi: Justice J Chelameswar, who led the revolt of four senior judges against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said there were "subtle efforts" occasionally to influence the judiciary and this was the case in the past as well. Justice Chelameswar retired from the Supreme Court on Friday and he declared his intention to write a book.

"Occasionally, subtle efforts are made; sometimes, I don't know. You remember those days in the 1970s when Mrs Gandhi was prime minister. There was a slogan 'committed judiciary': they wanted people who subscribed to a particular political philosophy only. Right or wrong, I'm not going into all these questions. Attempts are always made, not only in India, but every country - it happens," he said in a television interview on Friday.

Chelameswar said the issues raised by the seniormost Supreme Court judges still remained unresolved.The extraordinary press conference called by the four senior SC judges against the CJI had come about as result of several incidents building up over a period of time rather than one particular trigger, he said.

The two issues raised at the presser on January 12 at Justice Chelameswar's residence where three senior judges - Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - were present were referred to by Justice Chelameswar. He said there was palpable executive influence over judiciary which did not augur well for the institution that protected rights and democracy. He also referred to the CJI's arbitrary allocation of cases of national importance, including the petition seeking a probe into judge B H Loya's death in 2014, to 'select benches' headed by 'junior judges'.

Five months and 11 days after the press conference, Justice Chelameswar said he found allegations in the medical admission scam too serious not to be investigated and that the bonhomie between the executive and the judiciary was a matter of concern. He said he would write a book. Going by his actions in the last two years, the contents would be explosive. He also said he would not accept any post-retirement assignment from the government.

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