Internal matter, will not interfere: govt

Internal matter, will not interfere: govt

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed on the crisis by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, it was made clear that the govenrment considered the issues raised by the judges an "internal matter" of the judiciary and the functioning of the Supreme Court.

The government did not wish to be seen as "interfering" in any manner on a sensitive matter concerning the judiciary, which could be misconstrued by either of the sides. The issues raised by the judges and the CJI required sagacity, patience and wisdom of the judiciary to sort them out by themselves.

At the same time, the government expected the apex court to settle the issue at the earliest as the faith of the people in the judiciary is at stake, top officials said.

Attorney General of India K K Venugopal is also understood to have conveyed the same position to the CJI when he met him soon after the senior judges held a press conference to air their differences.

Later, the AG expressed hope that the differences between the judges and CJI Dipak Misra would be fully resolved in a day or two.

The CJI, for his part, is said to have indicated that he respected every judge and distribution of cases to each of them was done in a "fair manner", keeping the overall load on the judiciary. He was open to discussing all issues with his brother judges.

Besides, the CJI considered himself only "first among equals" and his role was that of "master of roster" in allocation of duties and cases, which, however, could not be a matter of adjudication by other judges.

Venugopal also believed that the press conference by the four senior-most judges could have been avoided and the judges would now have to act in a "statesman like" manner to ensure complete harmony.

"What has happened today could have been avoided. The judges will now have to act in a statesman like manner and ensure that the divisiveness is wholly neutralised and total harmony and mutual understanding will prevail in future," he said.

Senior ministers instructed BJP functionaries and spokespersons not to wade into the controversy as it concerned the highest judiciary when the opposition was targetting the govenrment using this issue.

DH News Service

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