In an extraordinary instance of breaking away from the usual practice, four senior judges —  Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph — of the Supreme Court held a press conference to address the biggest issues faced by the judiciary, one of the three pillars of Indian democracy. The judges said that there was an immediate need to preserve the judiciary in the country if democracy has to be protected. The press conference was held at the residence of Justice Chelameswar in New Delhi.

In a statement, Justice Chelameswar said the democracy would be in an alarming situation if the issues were not addressed immediately. He also said that Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in last few months. “We collectively tried to persuade CJI that certain things aren’t in order, so take remedial measures but unfortunately our efforts failed,” Chelameswar said.

LIVE UPDATES:

2.10 pm: Judges had to come before media & take this unprecedented step. This means that there is a serious dispute, either with Chief Justice of India (CJI) or some internal dispute: PB Sawant, former Supreme Court judge on press conference by 4 Supreme Court judges

1.55 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad about the allegations made by the four Supreme Court judges: Sources

1.25 pm: We can’t criticize them, they are men of great integrity & have sacrificed a lot of their legal career, where they could’ve made money as senior counsels. We must respect them. PM must ensure that the 4 judges & CJI, in fact, whole SC come to one opinion & proceed further: Subramanian Swamy

1.10 pm: It is certainly a very serious development which has cast a huge shadow on the Chief Justice. Somebody had to confront the situation, where CJ is blatantly misusing his powers, hence the unprecedented step: Prashant Bhushan

1.12 pm: I think all 4 judges should be impeached, they have no business to sit there and deliver verdicts anymore. This trade unionism is wrong. Democracy in danger is not for them to say, we have parliament, courts, police functioning: Justice R S Sodhi

1.00 pm: We are not mentioning details only to avoid embarrassing the institution but note that such departures have already damaged the image of this intuition to some extent: Supreme Court Judges in letter to CJI

12.55 pm: Chelameswar says, “All 4 of us are convinced that unless this institution (Supreme Court) is preserved & it maintains its equanimity, democracy will survive in this country, or any country.”

12.53 pm: PM Modi calls for an emergency meeting following the press conference by Supreme Court judges.

12. 51 pm: Judges J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph release 7-page letter that they wrote to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

12.38 pm: There is an issue of assignment of a case which is raised in that letter (to CJI): Justice Ranjan Gogoi, on being asked further if it is about CBI Judge BH Loya, he said, ‘yes’.

12.35 pm: We collectively tried to persuade CJI that certain things aren’t in order so take remedial measures but unfortunately our efforts failed: Justice J.Chelameswar

12.28 pm: We collectively tried to persuade CJI that certain things aren’t in order, so take remedial measures but unfortunately our efforts failed: Chelameswar

12.25 pm: Let the nation decide that: Chelameswar on if the CJI should be impeached

12.22 pm: We don’t want anyone to tell us tomorrow that we sold off our spirit: Justice Chelameswar

12, 20 pm: With no pleasure, we are compelled to take the decision and call a press conference. The administration of the SC is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in last few months: Justice Chelameswar

12:15 pm: Supreme Court Judges Kurian Joseph, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur to address the media shortly