The government has so far maintained silence on the unprecedented rift among the judges, following which Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice M B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph went public yesterday with their concerns, saying, “democracy was at stake”.
Nripendra Misra, 72, who has been serving as the secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office since the BJP came to power in 2014, had gone to the house of the CJI this morning. He later said the visit was a personal one and he had not been able to meet Dipak Misra.
Within hours, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala tweeted: “As PM’s Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra visits CJI’s residence at 5, Krishna Menon Marg; PM must answer the reason for sending this special messenger to Chief Justice of India”.
In a two-page statement yesterday, the Congress had asked the Supreme Court judges to jointly discuss the points flagged by four judges. The Congress also asked that the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court should hear the petition that sought an inquiry into the death of Judge Brij Gopal Loya in 2014. Party chief Rahul Gandhi described the points raised by the four judges as “extremely important”.
The government’s top lawyer, Attorney General KK Venugopal, had said yesterday’s press conference — a first in the country by sitting judges of the Supreme Court — “could have been avoided”. Today he assured that “unity” among the Supreme Court judges will return by Monday.