The Indian Express has reported that Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur wrote to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Sunday, two days after 64 Opposition MPs moved an impeachment notice against the CJI— demanding a full court discussion on “institutional issues” and the “future” of the Supreme Court. Justices Gogoi and Lokur are among the five seniormost judges in the Supreme Court. Justice Gogoi is slated to be the next CJI after Dipak Misra retires in October, 2018.
The impeachment notice was subsequently rejected by Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
The report made the following points:
- Justices Gogoi and Lokur wrote a brief two-sentence letter delivered to CJI Misra on Sunday, demanding that the CJI call a “full court” on the judicial side to discuss “institutional issues” and the “future” of the court
- The CJI has not yet responded to their letter
- The issue of full court was also raised by some judges during the customary meeting of all Supreme Court judges over tea on Monday morning, but CJI Misra was non-committal on the matter, according to “sources”
- The “institutional issues” and “future” referred to by the two judges now mainly pertain to the independence of the judiciary, as the government has been ignoring Collegium recommendations on appointment of judges to the high courts and Supreme Court
- The government’s actions and CJI’s reluctance to press the issue has caused consternation among the higher judiciary which is concerned about preserving institutional integrity, according to “sources”