Transcript (of what matters) of the Judges Press Conference

Below is a transcript of the discernible and relevant parts of the Judges Press Conference held earlier today:

(Justice Chelameswar begins addressing the gathered media)

Justice J Chelameswar -As senior most members of the Court…we thought we owed a responsibility to the institution, to the nation…

…This morning on a particular issue, four of us went and met the Honourable Chief Justice of India, with a specific request. We unfortunately couldn’t convince him. Therefore, we are left with no choice except to communicate it to the nation that please take care of the institution and the nation…

…I don’t want another twenty years later that some very wise men in this country blame that Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph sold their souls and didn’t take care of this institution…

(Questions from the media)

What is the issue?

Chelameswar J: A couple of months back, four of us gave a signed letter to the CJI…and we wanted a particular thing to be done in a particular manner. The thing was done, but in such a way that it left too many questions; it raised further questions and further doubts about the integrity of the institution and many more things happened.

What happened this morning?

Chelameswar J: Four of us went and met the CJI made a request, this particular thing is not in order therefore it should be rectified. In spite of four colleagues, senior most colleagues of the CJI requesting, the CJI thought that we are not right.

Why don’t you speak out?

Chelameswar J: The reason is this. Everybody knows everything. We are not running politics here, where we are making statements, and somebody contradicting it tomorrow.

Once you look at the letter, then you will know everything and the complaint we are making.

Justice GogoiThere is no speculation here. We are going to give you a copy of a letter which we have written two months back. All the issues are spelled out there. Go through that letter, you will know what they are. Do we have to repeat those issues?

Is there any specific issue?

Gogoi J – It is issue of assignment of a case which is an issue raised in that letter.

Is it about Justice Loya?

Gogoi J – Yes.

What are the remedies now? Do you want the CJI be impeached?

Chelameswar J – Let the nation decide, we are nobody to decide.

(Clamour among reporters)

Gogoi J – It is a discharge of a debt to the nation that has brought us here. We think we have discharged that debt by telling you what is what.

Are you speaking for the rest of the Court as well?

Chelameswar J – We are speaking for ourselves.

What is the next step?

Chelameswar J – Tomorrow is Saturday. Day after is Sunday. Monday we go to Court.

(Laughter)

Is it about the composition of the Constitution Benches also? That Senior Judges are not included?

Chelameswar JRead the letter, you will get answers.

Can we construe this as a sign of protest and now what is expected from the CJI?

Chelameswar JWell, we failed…

 (Justice Gogoi interrupts) You may construe this as a sign of our responsibility to the nation.

(Judges thank the press).

Read the letter addressed to the CJI:

Letter to Chief Justice - 12Jan2018