Supreme court judges in India claim that Democracy is in danger
Jan 12, New Delhi: Four prominent Supreme Court Judges in India have publicly challenged the authority of the head of the judiciary - in an unprecedented move.
The judges at a press conference on Friday said that Chief Justice Dipak Misra was assigning cases to benches of his preference, breaching court rules.
Democracy would not survive in India unless the court's regulations were followed, they added.This is the first time Supreme Court judges have ever addressed the media.
This unprecedented event has prompted India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold an emergency meeting with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The four judges circulated a letter they had addressed to the chief justice, accusing him of assigning cases with "far-reaching consequences for the nation" and the court selectively to benches "with no rationale" - effectively implying that he had sought to influence the outcome.
They also expressed their unhappiness with "certain judicial orders" passed by the court, which they claimed "adversely affected the overall functioning of the court".
There was no specific mention of which cases they felt had been assigned to benches selectively. However Indian media speculate that the issue could be in relation to the handling of a case of alleged corruption by a retired high court judge late last year.
The Oslo Times International News Network