On the bright sunny morning of January 12, four senior judges of Supreme Court held an unprecedented press conference and expressed their concerns about the professional conduct of the then Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice Dipak Misra, over the assignment of cases.
In the virtual revolt against the CJI, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, and Kurien Joseph questioned the system and said that a skewed allocation of cases was impacting justice delivery adversely. The four judges had then repeatedly said that despite their best efforts to reach out to Justice Misra, there had been no response from him, which left them with no option but to come face to face with the nation (via the press).
Of the four, Justice Chelameswar and Justice Joseph have already retired since, Justice Lokur will relinquish his post by the month end. Justice Gogoi is the incumbent CJI.
The press conference by the four judges set the wheels of change in motion, according to Justice Joseph. Addressing reporters after his retirement, Justice Joseph had said he had no regrets about press conference. He also expected Justice Gogoi to steer the ship more effectively.
Some legislators thought the judicial rebels had done the right thing, raising issues that were critical to functioning of this vital institution of democracy. How far the political dispensation will respect the spirit of that revolt is another question.