In a shocking development, four senior most judges of Supreme Court today called a press conference to express displeasure over the functioning of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and alleged that “many things, which are less than desirable, have happened in the last few months.”
The four SC judges who blew the bugle against the sitting CJI, in a first-of-its-kind press meet, included Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph.
Let’s take a look at the legal journey of these Supreme Court judges:
Justice Jasti Chelameswar: Justice Chelameswar, presently the second senior most judge of the Supreme Court, is better remembered for striking a dissenting note in the 2015 NJAC verdict.
Criticising the collegium system of appointing judges, Justice Chelameswar said that it has become “a euphemism for nepotism” where “mediocrity or even less” is promoted and a “constitutional disorder” does not look distant.
Though the SC bench struck down the NJAC Act, Justice Chelameswar, in his lone dissenting judgment, upheld the Act which was passed by the Parliament.
However, Justice Chelameswar later on joined the other judges in delivering judgement on the collegium as it sought to improve the system. Interestingly, the collegium later agreed to adopt the circulation method for appointing judges, a suggestion given by Justice Chelameswar.
Justice Chelameswar was part of the two judge bench of the Supreme Court which struck down a controversial law which gave Indian police the power to arrest anyone accused of posting emails or other electronic messages which "causes annoyance or inconvenience".
He was also part of the SC bench that ruled that no Indian citizen without an Aadhaar card can be deprived of basic services and government subsidies.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi: Justice Ranjan Gogoi is the senior most judge after Justice Chelameswar. He will be succeeding Justice Dipak Misra as the next CJI in October 2018.
Hailing from Assam, Justice Gogoi will be the first CJI from the north-eastern states of India.
Justice Gogoi practised at the Gauhati High Court of which he was made a Permanent Judge on 28 February 2001. He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 9 September 2010 and became its Chief Justice on 12 February 2011. He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court on 23 April 2012 .
Justice Madan Lokur: Born on 31 December 1953, Justice Lokur was enrolled at the Bar in 1977 and practised in the Supreme Court of India and at the Delhi High Court.
He also functioned as the Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court from 13 February 2010 to 21 May 2010 before being transferred as the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court from 24 June 2010 to 14 November 2011 and High Court of Andhra Pradesh from 15 November 2011 to 3 June 2012.
He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court on 4 June 2012.
Justice Joseph Kurien: Born on 30 November 1953 in Kerala, Joseph Kurien was appointed as a judge of the Kerala High Court. In February 2010, he was elevated as Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. On 8 March 2013, he became a judge of Supreme Court of India.
Justice Kurien was part of the SC bench that gave a verdict against the controversial Triple Talaq custom on August 22, 2017.
He was also part of the SC bench that overruled the Afsal Guru decision on the point of admissibility of electronic evidence in the courts.