judicial system

As judicial crisis continues, debate bubbles up: Should the justices have gone to the press?

The judiciary has a tradition of silence, at least beyond the bench, which has now been broken.

Even as people are struggling to fully comprehend the meaning of Friday’s unprecedented development, with four top Supreme Court justices telling the media the Chief Justice of India had refused to address a crisis, a debate sprung up that was central to the matter at hand: Should the judges have gone to the press?

Supreme Court justices rarely every address the media directly. Norms in both the Supreme Court and the High Courts suggest that any comments need to be made from behind the bar and, if there is the odd case of a response directly to the media, the Chief Justice needs to first give permission. It is even rarer for judges to speak openly about internal processes. These norms made Friday’s media briefing, with four of the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court sitting before a host of cameras and reporters and speaking directly to the people of the nation, truly extraordinary.

There has already been plenty of debate over the substance of the accusations being levelled against the Chief Justice. According to the four judges, Chief Justice Dipak Misra has in the last few months, arbitrarily decided how to assign cases to different benches in a manner that has raised serious questions and, as per their letter, damaged the reputation of the court.

But alongside that argument about content has been the question of form. Even if the four judges had a valid point to make, should they have gone to the media at all?

Against speaking to press

A few former judges and lawyers have come out against the four justices’ decision to take the matter to the media and the public. The general argument is that airing the Supreme Court’s dirty laundry in public will only lower the estimation of the institution in the people’s eyes and thereby do long-lasting damage to its reputation.

This school of thought goes by the belief that there were other approaches, which would have channeled the dissent internally, that could have been taken instead of speaking to the press. Former judge RS Sodhi and former attorney general Soli Sorabjee both took this tack, with Sodhi even calling for the four judges to be impeached.

For speaking to the press

Many lawyers and former judges have spoken up in support of the four justices. Their arguments primarily take the view that, though speaking to the public is not a good move, the need must have been so compelling that the four justices felt they would get more from taking the matter to the press than simply complaining to the Chief Justice one more time.

In some cases, a few more directly involved with the matter at hand – like Indira Jaising and Prashant Bhushan, who have raised questions about the Chief Justice’s conduct in the recent past – applauded the unexpected action of the justices.

Other responses came from unusual places. Even as the government kept mum about the matter, insisting for the most part that this is just an internal issue for the judiciary, Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Subramanian Swamy praised them for their actions.

Government staying mum

The government has not officially put out any response to the crisis, one of the biggest to ever envelop the judiciary. Through unnamed sources, it put the word out that the government believes this is an internal matter that the judiciary will have to resolve by itself. Meanwhile, after headlines suggested the Prime Minister had summoned the Law Minister to discuss the issue, the latter’s office reportedly put out a denial.

Support our journalism by paying for Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by Catalyst.org stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.