'Judiciary Under Threat From Political Pressure': 600 Lawyers in Letter to CJI – News18

Curated By: News Desk
Last Updated: March 28, 2024, 10:31 IST
New Delhi, India
Senior members of the bar have requested the Supreme Court to take protective measures against these attacks to maintain the judiciary’s integrity.
Over 600 lawyers from across India have addressed a letter to the Chief Justice of India, expressing serious concerns over what they describe as political and professional pressure to influence judicial outcomes. The letter titled, ‘Judiciary under threat – safeguarding judiciary from political and professional pressure’, has been signed by prominent lawyers, including senior advocate Harish Salve, Manan Kumar Mishra, Adish Agarwal, Chetan Mittal, Pinky Anand and Swaroopama Chaturvedi, among others.
The letter alleges “actions of a specific interest group aiming to undermine the judiciary’s integrity.” This group, according to the lawyers, is employing pressure tactics to influence judicial outcomes, particularly in cases involving political figures and corruption allegations. These actions, they argue, pose a significant threat to the democratic fabric and the trust placed in judicial processes.
The lawyers have highlighted several concerning methods, including the “propagation of false narratives about a so-called ‘golden era’ of the judiciary, aimed at discrediting current proceedings and undermining public confidence in the courts.”
“They create false narratives of a supposed ‘better past’ and ‘golden period’ of the courts, contrasting it with the happenings in the present. These are nothing but intentional statements, made to sway court decisions and to embarrass the court’s for certain political gains. It’s troubling to see some lawyers defend politicians by the day, and then try to influence judges through the media at night. Implying that the courts in the past were easier to influence shakes the public’s trust in them,” the letter says.
The letter has also accused the pressure group of floating a theory of ‘bench fixing’, calling it “disrespectful and contemptuous.” “They have also stooped to the level of comparing our courts to those countries where there is no rule of law and accusing our judicial institutions with unfair practices,” the lawyers added.
The lawyers have also hit out at the “tactics employed by the interest group involving selective criticism or praise of court decisions based on their political agenda” described it as a “My way or the highway” approach.
Concerns have also been raised about “political flip-flopping, where politicians alternate between accusing individuals of corruption and defending them in court.”
The lawyers have also pointed to the alleged use of underhand tactics and dissemination of false information to “influence judicial appointments and outcomes.” The lawyers note the strategic timing of these tactics around election periods, drawing parallels to similar activities in 2018-2019.
Senior members of the bar have requested the Supreme Court to take protective measures against these attacks to maintain the judiciary’s integrity. The letter calls for a united stand in support of the judiciary to ensure it remains a strong pillar of democracy, urging decisive leadership in addressing these challenges.


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