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B.K. Roy, Judges meet CJI
Punjab & Haryana HC stand-off
Our Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 25
The three Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who had arrived here yesterday for discussion over Judgesí unprecedented action in going on mass leave, today held a meeting with the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Mr Justice V.N. Khare, and the CJI designate, Mr Justice S. Rajendra Babu, in their efforts to defuse the crisis.

Mr Justice Khare and Mr Justice Rajendra Babu later also held a meeting with the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, who was called here today.

What exactly transpired in the two meetings was not known as no one was willing to talk to the media as the whole interaction was a part of the Supreme Courtís in-house procedure to find out the reason for the High Court Judges taking such an extreme step and to defuse the crisis and restore judicial discipline.

The three Judges ó Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi, Mr Justice V.K. Bali and Mr Justice H.S. Bedi ó who had an informal meeting with the CJI yesterday after their arrival here, held formal discussions with him and Mr Justice Rajendra Babu this afternoon.

They had been summoned to New Delhi by the CJI after 25 of the 27 Judges of the High Court had gone on mass leave on April 19 protesting against Mr Justice Roy alleging that it had become difficult for them to work with him. But they had resumed work the next day on the apex courtís intervention.

What follow-up action the Supreme Court is likely to take in this matter would be known only in the days to come, but the CJI and Mr Justice Rajendra Babu are understood to have told the Judges that their action had damaged the image of the judiciary, sources said.

Both Mr Justice Roy and three of his colleagues were also believed to have been told in uncertain terms to bury their differences to maintain judicial decorum, dignity and discipline.

After their interaction with the three Judges, the CJI and Mr Justice Rajendra Babu is understood to have held a meeting with a collegium of senior Supreme Court Judges to deliberate upon the matter.

The collegium has four seniormost Judges of the Supreme Court, which decides any administrative matter related to the postings, transfer and any other similar issues related to the High Court Judges.

The immediate provocation for the High Court Judges for going on protest leave is reported to be his seeking explanation from two his colleagues for getting membership of a controversial club in Chandigarh, though the crisis had been brewing for the past four months.

Meanwhile, the apex court is likely to hear a public interest litigation on the issue tomorrow.

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