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Business News/ News / India/  ‘Deeply troubling’: 21 retired judges write to CJI amid BJP-opposition spar over corruption cases

‘Deeply troubling’: 21 retired judges write to CJI amid BJP-opposition spar over corruption cases

A group of retired judges, including four from the apex court, expressed concern over attempts to undermine the judiciary through misinformation and pressure. They highlighted the need to safeguard judicial independence and autonomy from political interests and tactics of misinformation.

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan) (PTI)Premium
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan) (PTI)

A group of 21 retired judges of the Supreme Court and high courts have written to the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on the escalating attempts by "certain factions to undermine the judiciary through calculated pressure, misinformation, and public disparagement".

“These critics are motivated by narrow political interests and personal gains and are striving to erode public confidence in the judicial system," they said.

PTI reported, though the retired judges, including four from the apex court, did not specify the incidents which prompted them to write to the CJI, their letter came amid “a war of words between the ruling BJP and opposition parties over the actions against some opposition leaders in corruption cases."

As affected leaders and their parties resort to legal avenues for relief, the BJP has frequently alleged selective use of judicial decisions and highlighted instances where relief was not granted to arrested leaders to counter opposition criticism.

Also Read: CJI Chandrachud on probe agencies: India must re-think its investigative framework

Retired judges, including justices Deepak Verma, Krishna Murari, Dinesh Maheshwari, and M R Shah, have accused critics of employing underhanded tactics aimed at influencing judicial proceedings by casting doubt on the integrity of courts and judges.

Here is the complete list:

1. Justice Deepak Verma Former Supreme Court Judge

2. Justice Krishna Murari Former Supreme Court Judge

3. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari Former Supreme Court Judge

4. Justice M R Shah Former Supreme Court Judge

5. Justice Permod Kohli

6. Justice S.M.Soni

7. Justice Ambadas Joshi Former Judge, Mumbai High Court

8. Justice S.N. Dhingra Former Judge, Delhi High Court

9. Justice R K Gauba Former Judge, Delhi High Court

10. Justice Gyan prakash Mittal Former Judge, Delhi High Court

11. Justice Ajit Bharihoke Former Judge, Delhi High Court

12. Justice Raghuvendra Singh Rathore Former Judge, Rajasthan High Court

13. Justice Ramesh Kumar Merathia Former Judge, Jharkhand High Court

14. Justice Karam Chand Puri Former Judge, Punjab & Haryana High Court

15. Justice Rakesh Saksena Former Judge, M.P High Court

16. Justice Narender Kumar Former High Court Judges & Chairman, NCMEI

17. Justice Rajes Kumar Former Judge, Allahabad High Court

18. Justice S N Srivastav Former Judge, Allahabad High Court

19. Justice P.N Ravinderan Former Judge, Kerala High Court

20. Justice Lokpal Singh Former Judge, Uttarakhand High Court

21. Justice Rajiv Lochan Former Judge, Allahabad High Court

“Such actions not only disrespect the sanctity of our judiciary but also pose a direct challenge to the principles of fairness and impartiality that judges, as guardians of the law, have sworn to uphold," they said in the letter titled “Need to safeguard judiciary from unwarranted pressures".

Also Read: 'Don't shout at me': CJI Chandrachud tells advocate during electoral bonds hearing

“The strategy employed by these groups is deeply troubling, ranging from the propagation of baseless theories intended to malign the judiciary's reputation to engaging in overt and covert attempts to influence judicial outcomes to their favour," they said.

“This behaviour, we observe, is particularly pronounced in the cases and causes of social, economic and political significance, including the cases involving certain individuals, wherein the lines between advocacy and manoeuvring are blurred to the detriment of judicial independence," they added.

The letter writers said they are particularly concerned about “the tactics of misinformation and the orchestration of public sentiment against the judiciary".

“The practice of selectively praising judicial decisions that align with one's views while vehemently criticising those that do not, undermines the very essence of judicial review and the rule of law," they said.

Also Read: 'STOP pinning blame on us for your own sins': Kharge hits back at PM Modi's ‘vintage Congress culture’ remark

They have further urged the judiciary led by the Supreme Court to fortify against such pressures and ensure that the sanctity and autonomy of the legal system are preserved.

“It is imperative that the judiciary remains a pillar of democracy, immune to the whims and fancies of transient political interests," they said.

Earlier on March 28, as many as 600 lawyers, including senior advocate Harish Salve and Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, wrote to the Chief Justice of India, raising concerns against the actions of a “specific interest group" that, they said, is tainting the image of the Judiciary.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 12:22 PM IST
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