Retired Judges Urge Chief Justice: Defend Judiciary Against Threats

Featured & Cover Retired Judges Urge Chief Justice Defend Judiciary Against Threats

A collective of retired judges from both the Supreme Court and High Courts has penned a letter to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, expressing their shared apprehension concerning the escalating efforts by specific factions to undermine the judiciary through strategic pressure, dissemination of misinformation, and public denigration.

The missive, dated April 14, features signatures from 21 former judges, including prominent figures like former Supreme Court Justices Deepak Verma, Krishna Murari, Dinesh Maheshwari, and M R Shah, as well as former High Court judges Permod Kohli, S M Soni, Ambadas Joshi, and S N Dhingra.

In their communication, the ex-judges highlighted their awareness of “elements, motivated by narrow political interests and personal gains,” endeavoring to diminish public trust in the judicial system. They emphasized the multifaceted and surreptitious nature of these efforts, aimed at influencing judicial proceedings by casting doubt on the integrity of the courts and judges.

The former judges underscored that such actions not only disregard the sanctity of the judiciary but also present a direct affront to the principles of fairness and impartiality that judges, as custodians of the law, are duty-bound to uphold. They expressed deep concern over the tactics employed by these groups, ranging from disseminating unfounded theories to besmirch the judiciary’s reputation to engaging in overt and covert maneuvers to sway judicial outcomes in their favor.

“This behavior,” the former judges remarked, “is particularly evident in cases of social, economic, and political significance, including those involving specific individuals, where the distinction between advocacy and manipulation becomes blurred to the detriment of judicial independence.”

The signatories voiced particular alarm over the tactics of misinformation and the orchestration of public sentiment against the judiciary, deeming them not only unethical but also injurious to the foundational tenets of democracy. They criticized the selective praise of judicial decisions that align with one’s viewpoint while vehemently condemning those that do not, asserting that such practices undermine the essence of judicial review and the rule of law.

“The judiciary, spearheaded by the Supreme Court, must fortify itself against such pressures to ensure the sanctity and autonomy of our legal system are preserved,” urged the former judges. They stressed the imperative for the judiciary to remain a bastion of democracy, impervious to the transient whims of political interests.

In a show of solidarity with the judiciary, the former judges pledged their readiness to lend support in any capacity necessary to uphold the dignity, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary. They looked to Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud for steadfast guidance and leadership in navigating these challenging times, safeguarding the judiciary as a beacon of justice and equity.

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