At the launch of the book titled Supreme Court of India, The Beginning, penned by legal scholar George H Gadbois, Jr, Justice Chelameswar replied, "No comments", when the reporters asked questions on the progress of resolving the crisis.
"For the survival of a liberal democracy, an impartial and independent judiciary is important", Justice Chelameswar said in the presence of some fellow judges and senior lawyers. You must constantly keep analysing and examining, how exactly the institution is functioning, and what are all the achievements and what are all its failures.
Chelameswar and three other Supreme Court judges had held an unprecedented press conference on January 12, and said that the judges had failed to convince Chief Justice Dipak Misra to protect the Supreme Court as an institution.
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He said with the Constitution conferring enormous jurisdiction on the apex court, number of cases in the top court had increased over the years and it was facing a tough time to provide speedy justice.
The problem faced by the court is real. He also said the apex court was not a superintending court of the entire judiciary as per the Constitution, but in practice, it exercised a great deal of such powers. The Supreme Court has by and large been acting as an and people can now approach the court for any grievance. "Directly the matter of appointments and transfer of judges of high courts, indirectly laying down the law regarding various aspects of administration of justice at high courts and subordinate courts", he said.
"There is huge arrears of cases and it is impossible to clear the backlog. The empirical data collected for the last few decades indicates that", Chelameswar said, noting further that the situation does not add to the glory of the institution. "Solution is imperative and the solution has to be found if the institution is to survive", he said, pointing out that the number of pending cases had crossed the 55,000 figure. On Monday, Justice Chelameswar made his first public appearance while attending a book launch since the extraordinary press conference led by him on January 12.