judges angry

Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Madan Lokur address a press conference in New Delhi on Jan. 12, 2018. In an unprecedented event, four senior sitting judges of the Supreme Court met the media to complain that the administration of the country's top court was not in order. (Bidesh Manna/IANS)

NEW DELHI — Four Indian Supreme Court judges complained openly Jan. 12 about the functioning of the country’s top court, including the role of the chief justice.

The four, led by Justice Jasti Chelameswar, held an unusual news conference in the Indian capital at which they said they did not agree with the allocation of work by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

Chelameswar said the four judges met with Misra Jan. 12 and demanded changes, but he did not agree with them.

He said many undesirable things had happened in the court in recent months, but gave no details.

Misra has not commented on the allegations.

The four judges said they were not resigning and would be back in court on Jan. 15.

Last year, Chelmeswar criticized the country’s collegium system in which the chief justice and four judges of the Supreme Court recommend appointments and transfers of judges across the country.

The Supreme Court last year rejected a government move to have representatives in the group handling appointments and transfers of judges to the highest courts.

R.S. Sodhi, a retired Supreme Court justice, said the judges’ decision to express their grievances openly was appalling. He said they should have sought redress within the system.

There are currently 25 judges on India’s Supreme Court, with six vacancies.

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