PIL Matters Should Be Either Taken up By CJI Or Should Be Assigned To Collegium Judges: SCBA [Read Resolution]
Addressing the media at a press conference in the evening on Saturday, following a Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) meeting convened in the light of events that took place on Friday, senior counsel Vikas Singh, SCBA president, said, “We had called an emergency meeting of the SCBA in view of the situation that has arisen by virtue of the press conference called by the four senior judges of the Supreme Court yesterday, which is of great consequence for the future of the court.”
Elaborating on the minutes of the meeting, Singh said, “It has been unanimously resolved by the Executive Committee of the SCBA:
(1) That the differences between the 5 senior-most judges of the Supreme Court with regard to the roster and MoP, as reported in the press conference, and other differences reflected in the newspaper reports are of great concern and should be immediately considered by the full court of the apex court, preferably tomorrow or on Monday; and
(2) That the PIL matters, including the pending PIL matters, should be either taken up by the Chief Justice of India, or, if he has to make an assignment thereof to another bench, the matters should be assigned to the remaining 4 judges comprising the Supreme Court collegium of 5 senior-most judges.
The SCBA president offered by way of clarification, “Even the matters listed on Monday, that is, January 15 should be transferred as per our request so that they are assigned among the first five courts of the Supreme Court.”
Continuing in the same thread, Singh remarked, “It is necessary that the full court deliberate these issues of moment with regard to listing and the PIL matters taken up from time-to-time to restore the credibility of the institution. Henceforth, a system should be developed that PILs do not traverse beyond the first five courts.”
“The judges’ press conference happened on Friday. If we had not convened the meeting today, we would have faulted in our duty. We shall be communicating the resolution to the Chief Justice post this press conference, with a prayer to act thereon at the earliest, with a view to restore the credibility of the Supreme Court and reinforce the faith of the common man therein as the institution of ultimate justice. We do not want the stature of the apex court to get hurt and hope to play a positive role in ameliorating the problems manifesting the institution,” the senior counsel said.
Members of the media posed a series of questions to him:
Q.Do you agree that there is a problem with the manner in which the Chief Justice decides rosters and how the PILs are dealt with? Do you agree with the contentions of the 4 judges?
A.We do not want to make a comment in that respect because in the past also, if you see, the 2G matter was listed when Justice Singhvi was the 11th senior-most judge. So it cannot be said that something is wrong with what is being done. But now that the four senior-most judges have raised the issue, there might be some concerns which we are not in a position to comment on.
Q.Does the SCBA contemplate full court deliberation, as recommended by the association, to be an open court proceeding?
A.We are of the view that the full court deliberation should be a closed-door proceeding as it is in the nature of a private hearing. It is an in-house procedure to sort things out without leaking the details in the public domain.
Q.Has the SCBA had a conversation with the Chief Justice or any of the other judges with regard to the resolution of the association in the light of Friday’s press conference?
A.The first meeting we have sought is with the Chief Justice as he is the administrative head of the Supreme Court and he alone can ensure fulfillment of our resolution. If the Hon’ble Chief Justice agrees on the compliance with the resolution and if we feel the need, then we shall obtain appointments with the other judges as well. We shall pursue the matter to the best of our ability.
Q.What is the SCBA’s take in respect of the listing of the PILs on judge Loya’s death?
A.We cannot take a stand on the death of judge Loya because as a bar association, we are not privy to what has happened in the matter. We are not discussing any particular cases.
In response to a query regarding the SCBA’s opinion on the matters that have been referred to the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, Singh stated, “The stand of the SCBA is very clear. We wanted to pass a bigger resolution, but finally chose to confine ourselves to the two points earlier mentioned. Please address your questions only on the points of our resolution.”
Bringing the session to an end, the SCBA also refused to comment on whether the course of a full court deliberation of Supreme Court judges should had been resorted to prior to the holding of the press conference by the four senior judges on Friday.
Picture Courtesy :PTI [Taken from here]
Read the Resolution Here
Pic Courtesy: PTI