The four senior judges of the top court had blamed Chief Justice Dipak Misra of "selectively" allocating cases to benches among other things, which they claimed, adversely affected the judiciary and threatened democracy.
The four judges viz., Justice Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan Lokur, and Justice Kurian Joseph, who ranked second to fifth in the order of seniority after the Chief Justice of India have alleged that the CJI has not been responsive to their requests despite several attempts to persuade him.
Efforts to alert the chief justice that certain things were not in order and that remedial measures were needed had failed, prompting the news conference, Chelameswar said. "This must be guarded against at all costs", says the letter by the judges. "It has raised question marks about the credibility of the systems as such and has directly cast aspersions on the Chief Justice of India", Kumar said.
The press conference of the Judges sparked a wide-range debate across the country with many prominent personalities questioning the independence of the judiciary.
The rebellion also sprung from the fact that the bench constituted to investigate Judge BH Loya's death was not above suspicion.
While crying ourselves hoarse over the opaqueness with which the Collegium operates, can we, at the same time, criticize them for attempting to be transparent about how the institution is functioning? "This morning the four of us went and met him on a particular issue and we couldn't convince him", said Justice Chelameswar refusing to be drawn into the specifics of what that contentious issue was. But a composed CJI, along with Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, walked to their seats, a little after 2 pm, and finished hearing the remaining listed cases for the day within an hour. Eventually, a five-judge Bench headed by Justice Misra overturned the order and asserted that the CJI was indeed the master of the roster and that he alone could assign cases and decide on the composition of benches.
"I think the points that have been raised by the four judges are extremely important".
"Judges had to come before the media and take this unprecedented step".
The four judges also touched upon another controversial issue, the memorandum of procedure (MoP) on appointment of judges over which the Supreme Court had locked horns with the government.
The justices gave few details of the incidents they were referring to, but released a letter they had written to Misra.
R.S. Sodhi, a retired Supreme Court justice, said the judges' decision to express their grievances openly was appalling.
Media reports are saying that such a meeting and interaction is expected in the wake of four judges of the apex court issuing an appeal to the nation to save the institution from further damage if they want democracy to survive in the country.
"Politics by political parties of the country, outside the judicial purview, trying to drag issues which are internal to the judiciary and politicise that is something which should not be attempted", BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said". From now on every common man could look at all judicial order with suspicion.