In the Supreme Court crisis, Tuesday might bring fresh fireworks

Illustration Ajit Ninan

Justice Arun Mishra has recused himself from the case relating to the death of judge B.H. Loya, sources said on Tuesday night, suggesting that a partial solution is in sight to the controversy involving four senior judges and the Chief Justice of India.

Two of the retired judges said it was important to support the group of Supreme Court judges because they had taken the bold step of speaking out publicly to protect the sanctity of the most important institution of India. In a meeting which lasted 15 minutes, the judges discusses the issues which were brought up in the extraordinary press conference on Friday. "Unfortunately, our efforts failed", said Justice Chelameswar.

Justice J. Chelameswar, one of the four judges who led what was seen as a revolt against Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra.

A resolution, and some administrative changes in the Supreme Court that addresses the grievances of the four judges, are imminent, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. How this will carry out in the future is a show to watch out for all the concerned citizens of the nation, who rely on the decisions of the supreme court.

There was no word on whether the CJI had met the four dissenting judges. Although they conceded that the CJI was master of the roster, but that was "not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues".

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On January 17, the newly-formed bench will commence hearing on eight crucial cases that include validity of the Aadhaar Act, Section 377, and entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

Venugopal, the attorney general, also hoped that things will be sorted out in the next few days.

In the January 12 presser, these judges had flagged some issues, including the assigning of cases in the apex court, and said there were certain problems afflicting the country's highest court. Another important plea seeking disqualification of legislators facing criminal cases at the stage of charges being framed would also be heard by the five-judge Constitution Bench.

There seems to be no end to the rift between judges of Supreme Court. Judge Loya had heard a case in which BJP leader Amit Shah was discharged later.

Finally on Tuesday, the CJI chose to break the ice and called to meet them and requested the judges to be in his chamber.

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