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CJI , four judges meet along with three more but no sign of resolution

January 20, 2018

SC Crisis

New Delhi : The crisis in the Supreme Court precipitated by the unprecedented press conference held by four judges last week to air their differences with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra remained unresolved with the two sides unable to come to terms on their points of disagreement, sources said.

The CJI is learnt to have met the four judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — in the morning before start of the day’s proceedings. The meeting lasted for less than half an hour. Three other judges — Justices A K Sikri, N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud — were also present.

The discussion centred on the changes they wanted to the roster for allocation and some possible porposals.

Sources said the judges placed their proposal for a resolution of the impasse over the way benches are allocated and the way ahead, as reported in The Indian Express today. But no substantial headway was achieved and the Chief Justice, sources said, neither ceded any ground nor made any fresh counter-proposal to end the continuing impasse.

Interestingly, Justices Sikri, Khanwilkar and Chandrachud were present on Tuesday when the four judges had met the CJI for the first time (after the customary morning tea on Monday). On Wednesday evening, Justices U U Lalit and Chandrachud were part of confabulations with the four judges.

On Thursday, with Justice Sikri, Justices Ramanna and Chandrachud were present giving credence to the belief that this issue involves a much wider set of judges of the Supreme Court.

Most judges are expected to travel on the weekend and Justice Chelameswar is said to have already left the capital on Thursday. On January 12, the four judges had called a press conference to question the conduct of the CJI, especially on allocation of cases. They also made public the letter they had written to the CJI two months ago. Two days later, the Supreme Court announced that a Constitution Bench will hear eight important cases starting January 17. The bench did not include the four dissenting judges.

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