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Bar wants PILs to be sent to top 5 judges

The Supreme Court. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi: Various lawyers' forums on Saturday urged a quick resolution of the judges' revolt that broke out on Friday and sought more transparency in the judiciary's functioning, including video-recording of court proceedings.

The Supreme Court Bar Association urged Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to convene a full-court meeting to resolve the crisis stemming from the four other senior-most judges going public about his allegedly selective allocation of key cases to preferred judges.

It demanded that Justice Misra either hear all public interest pleas, including those that are listed on January 15, himself or share the task with the four other senior-most judges.

The Bar Council of India, which regulates the professional conduct of lawyers, said it had formed a seven-member committee to meet all the 25 apex court judges to convince them of the need for a quick settlement of the dispute and measures to prevent repeats.

The National Lawyers Campaign, which has been calling for greater judicial transparency, advocated a system of judges' appointments that involved advertisement of vacancies, applications from eligible judges, and selection by a panel of eminent people where neither the judiciary nor the government dominates.

"The predominance of the executive will lead to sarkari judges, a calamity that one cannot even visualise in one's dreams. Predominance of the judiciary, as we have seen, has led to nepotism and malpractices," the forum's president, Mathews J. Nedumpara, said in a statement.

The executive committee of the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association said the developments had tarnished the institution and urged the stakeholders to exercise restraint and resolve all the issues internally.

The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms saluted the four rebel judges, who it said had "formally informed citizens of a dangerous pattern which was becoming visible - of the Chief Justice abusing his power".

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