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Press conference by four Supreme Court judges could have been avoided: Attorney General

File photo of Attorney General KK Venugopal. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 12, 2018, 02.32 PM (IST)

Attorney General KK Venugopal has said that there was no need for the Supreme Court judges to call for a press conference today. He said that the judges would now have to act in "statesmanship" to ensure complete harmony.

Venugopal, who had a meeting with Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra after the press conference, expressed hope that all judges, including the CJI, would rise to the occasion and the entire issue will be resolved.

"Today's press conference could have been avoided, but the Supreme Court judges are all statesman with vast experience and knowledge, and I am sure by tomorrow, the entire issue would be resolved," Venugopal, main legal advisor to the government, said on Friday.

"This is what all of us at the bar want and I am sure that the judges, including the CJI, will rise to the occasion," he added.

Sources said judges, other than the four senior most ones, also held a meeting during the recess and were concerned about the unprecedented development.

Warning that democracy is at stake, four senior judges of the Supreme Court today mounted a virtual revolt against the CJI, raising questions on "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders, sending shockwaves across the judiciary and polity.

The unprecedented move by the four judges including Justice J Chelameswar, the second senior judge after Chief Justice Dipak Misra, brought to fore the simmering differences between the country's top judge and some senior judges in the apex court in recent months. The Supreme Court currently has 25 judges.

The judge accused CJI Misra of not taking any "remedial measures" on some of the issues which affected the functioning of the apex court that they had raised. Justice Misra became the CJI on August 28, 2017 and he is due to retire from on October 2 this year.

Unless this institution is preserved, "democracy will not survive" in this country, Justice Chelameswar said at the unscheduled press conference, in the first of its kind event in independent India, leaving uncertain how this open dissension in the hallowed institution would be resolved.