Former Advocate General of Karnataka, BV Acharya, said that Justice Jasti Chelameswar of the Supreme Court should not have met with Communist Party of India leader D Raja on Friday, after his press conference where he said all was not well with the judiciary.
Four senior judges of the country’s apex court – Justice Chelameswar, Justice Gogoi, Justice Kurien, and Justice Lokur – called for a press meet and declared that the administration of the Supreme Court was not in order, and released an undated letter that they wrote to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. In the letter, they criticised him with respect to the way the roster is maintained and the manner in which cases are assigned to the benches.
Post the press conference, Justice Chelameswar met with D Raja.
"Strictly speaking, the judges are not justified in going to the press. But since all other avenues were exhausted, they chose to do so and we need to give some weight to that statement. But with Justice Chelameswar meeting D Raja, it has given a new dimension to the whole matter,” the former AG told TNM.
“It looks like politicians are trying to play a game. Whatever be the situation, Justice Chelameswar shouldn't have met a communist leader. It gives the impression that it is not a spontaneous breakout, but a well-planned strategy at pulling down the judiciary," he added.
Asked about the allegations against the CJI, Acharya said that this kind of arbitrary allocation of cases weren't happening for the first time.
"It might be true that the CJI assigned cases arbitrarily. But the CJI could have avoided that comment. And this is not the first time such arbitrary allotment of cases is happening. Very important cases are sent to Court Hall Number 12 also," he said.
However, the differences between the judges should have been sorted out amicably and not laid out in public, Acharya said.
"I believe both sides should have sat together and settled this issue amicably. This issue has damaged the image of judiciary and affected the confidence of the public in judiciary," he said.