A group of 21 retired judges including four Judges of the Supreme Court have penned a letter to the Chief Justice of India, expressing their deep concern over escalating attempts to undermine the judiciary.

The letter dated April 14, 2024 read, “We, a collective of retired judges from the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India, take this moment to write to you, drawing upon our years of service and experience within the judiciary, to express our shared concern regarding the escalating attempts by certain factions to undermine the judiciary through calculated pressure, misinformation, and public disparagement. It has come to our notice that these elements, motivated by narrow political interests and personal gains, are striving to erode the public's confidence in our judicial system.”

The four retired Judges of the Supreme Court who are signatories to the letter are Justice Deepak Verma, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice MR Shah.

According to them, certain factions, driven by narrow political interests and personal gains, are employing manifold and insidious methods to sway judicial processes. They emphasized that such actions not only disrespect the sanctity of the judiciary but also pose a direct challenge to the principles of fairness and impartiality upheld by judges.

They pointed out that these pressures are particularly evident in cases of social, economic, and political significance, where the lines between advocacy and maneuvering are blurred to the detriment of judicial independence. It read, “We are particularly concerned about the tactics of misinformation and the orchestration of public sentiment against the judiciary, which are not only unethical but also detrimental to the foundational principles of our democracy. The practice of selectively praising judicial decisions that align with one's views while vehemently criticizing those that do not, undermines the very essence of judicial review and the rule of law.

They urged the judiciary, led by the Supreme Court, to fortify against such pressures and ensure the preservation of the sanctity and autonomy of the legal system. It said, “In light of these observations, we urge the judiciary, led by the Supreme Court to fortify against such pressures and ensure that the sanctity and autonomy of our legal system are preserved. It is imperative that the judiciary remains a pillar of democracy, immune to the whims and fancies of transient political interests.”

They concluded their letter by expressing solidarity with the judiciary and offering support in upholding the dignity, integrity, and impartiality of the judicial system. They anticipated the resolute guidance and leadership of the Chief Justice in safeguarding the judiciary as a pillar of justice and equity.

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