Bengaluru: A judge should not be seen speaking outside the court of law but what happened Friday is “most unfortunate,” said former Supreme Court judge and Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde. Coming down heavily on the four judges (of the Supreme Court) - Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph, who addressed the media in Delhi against the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice Hegde said "the four judges have denigrated the country’s highest institution, the judiciary, and reduced it to the level of a “street fighter,” he said.
“I am not supporting the CJI but am deeply disturbed at the steps taken by the four judges. They could have approached the President or written to him and asked him to discreetly approach the government for an independent inquiry on the matter.” “There have been controversies in the past and there are bound to be differences among the judges because they are independent thinkers but airing them in the public was never an option. It happened in my time also but the issues and controversies were never brought out in the open. I feel very sorry about today’s incident. It will rock the confidence of the people in the judiciary and also allow the Executive and Legislature to take advantage of the internal fight in the institution. Judiciary is like Defence. The two institutions never discuss their internal matters or wash their dirty linen in public. What happened today has no precedence. It should not have happened whatever be the provocation,” he said. He added that the judiciary has its own discipline. “There’s an unwritten law that judges should not be seen speaking outside the courts. They are learned men of stature and impeccable credentials, which is why there are no written tests or interviews for their appointment. The institution of judiciary is already marred with allegations of corruption and controversies. The judges going to media with their grievances could have been avoided.