21 ex-judges write to CJI against escalating attempts to undermine judiciary through ‘calculated pressure’ : The Tribune India

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21 ex-judges write to CJI against escalating attempts to undermine judiciary through ‘calculated pressure’

The letter comes weeks after more than 600 lawyers, wrote to CJI expressing serious concern over direct attacks by vested interest group to damage public’s trust in judiciary

21 ex-judges write to CJI against escalating attempts to undermine judiciary through ‘calculated pressure’

The former judges urged the judiciary to fortify against such pressures and ensure that the sanctity and autonomy of our legal system were preserved. Representative image/iStock



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 15

As many as 21 retired judges of the Supreme Court and various high courts have written to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud expressing concern over “escalating attempts by certain factions to undermine the judiciary through calculated pressure, misinformation, and public disparagement.”

“We are particularly concerned about the tactics of misinformation and the orchestration of public sentiment against the judiciary, which are not only unethical but also detrimental to the foundational principles of our democracy. 

The practice of selectively praising judicial decisions that align with one’s views while vehemently criticizing those that do not, undermines the very essence of judicial review and the rule of law,” they wrote.

“In the light of the above, we urge the judiciary, led by the Supreme Court, to fortify against such pressures and ensure that the sanctity and autonomy of our 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,” the judges — including former Supreme Court judges Deepak Verma, Krishna Murari, Dinesh Maheshwari and M R Shah — wrote in a letter dated April 14 addressed to the CJI.

Alleging that these elements were motivated by narrow political interests and personal gains, the former judges said such elements were “striving to erode the public’s confidence in our judicial system”.

“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 wrote.

The former judges urged the judiciary to fortify against such pressures and ensure that the sanctity and autonomy of our legal system were preserved. 

The letter comes weeks after a group of more than 600 advocates, including, senior advocate Harish Salve, BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and SCBA President Adish C Aggarwala wrote to CJI Chandrachud expressing serious concern over direct attacks being made by a vested interest group to damage the public’s trust in the judiciary.

Noting that the timing of their modus operandi merited a “closer scrutiny” as the nation was all set to head into elections, the lawyers had last month requested the Supreme Court to stand strong and take steps to protect our courts.

“Their methods are manifold and insidious, with clear attempts to sway judicial processes by casting aspersions on the integrity of our courts and the judges. 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,” the ex-judges’ letter read.

The former judges assured the CJI that they would stand in solidarity with the judiciary and are prepared to support in any manner necessary to uphold the dignity, integrity, and impartiality of our judiciary.

“We anticipate your resolute guidance and leadership in these challenging times, safeguarding the judiciary as a pillar of justice and equity,” they wrote.

“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,” read the ex-judges’ letter.

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