The government and political parties must stay away from the rift in the judiciary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday – his first remarks on the subject since four Supreme Court justices held a press conference on January 12 to voice their differences with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. He made the statement during an interview to TimesNow.

“I believe I should stay away from this whole controversy,” he said during the interview. “The government must also stay away. Political parties must also keep out of it. Our country’s judiciary has a very bright past. They are very capable people. They will sit together, understand their problems and find a solution. I have faith in our justice system. They will certainly find a solution.”

On January 12, the four dissenting judges – Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph – had raised concerns about the way Misra assigned cases to specific benches and the lack of a mechanism to deal with complaints against the chief justice. In a letter to Misra, the judges asked the chief justice to assign all important cases in order of seniority.

Days after the press meet, Bar Council of India Chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra had said the rift in the Supreme Court was “laid to rest”, and that all courtrooms were functioning normally. However, the five most senior Supreme Court judges do not seem to have reached an understanding yet, even after Misra held a meeting with the other four justices after the unprecedented press conference.