The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday said the press conference held by four Supreme Court judges raising concerns against the administration of the top court was an internal matter of the court.
“Under the Constitutional scheme of this country, the judiciary is independent and it has its own internal mechanisms,” BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said. “Attorney General KK Venugopal has given a statement on the matter.”
Patra also said the Congress was politicising internal matters of the judiciary. “We are surprised and pained that the Congress which has been rejected number of times by people in elections is trying to gain political mileage. By politicising the issue, the Congress has exposed itself.”
Earlier on Friday, Justice J Chelameswar, who is lower in seniority only to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said the Supreme Court owed a responsibility to the institution and the nation.
He was joined by three other judges, Justice Rajan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph, who all said they were speaking out now so that “democracy survives”, as their attempts to get the chief justice of India to address a crisis had gone unanswered.
The judges were referring to Chief Justice Misra’s allocation of cases in the Supreme Court, which many have questioned, most vocally after he moved the Medical Colleges bribery scam from Justice Chelameshwar’s court to his own in November 2017.
Before the BJP made a statement, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had said the judges’ press conference was unprecedented. “I thought it was sensitive and important matter so I thought I should [speak],” Gandhi told reporters. “The points that have been raised by the four judges are extremely important. They have mentioned that there is a threat to democracy, I think it needs to be looked into carefully.” The Congress party urged for a full court to investigate the allegations.
Attorney General K K Venugopal had said that the judges should have avoided speaking to the media on Friday. “The judges will now have to act in statesmanship and ensure that the divisiveness is wholly neutralised and total harmony and mutual understanding will prevail in future,” Venugopal.