A Rebuttal To: ‘Vested interests’ trying to influence judiciary’, 600 lawyers write to CJI

scales of justice

On 1 April 2024 a press-release was published in CC titled: ‘Vested interests’ trying to influence judiciary’, 600 lawyers write to CJI.’ I was surprised – nay shocked – to see this press-release published in CC. The press-release gives no indication of its origin which in itself is worrying. This letter by 600 lawyers was given wide coverage in mainstream media; endorsed by PM Modi – which was also dutifully covered widely by mainstream media. The letter was signed by senior advocate, Harish Salve amongst others. For the uninitiated Harish Salve was the Solicitor General of India under Vajpayee; was named in Pandora Papers; represents the Modi government in important litigation like challenge to “The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014” etc.

This letter was a blatant attempt to condemn democratic forces appearing in the Supreme Court of India and arguing for the opposition parties. Bench fixing in the Supreme Court is a fact. When a politically sensitive case gets listed before a specific judge the outcome is easily predictable. The Chief Justice of India as the master of the roster decides who will hear which case. For a detailed analysis of the letter and bench fixing in the Supreme Court please read Indira Jaising’s article titled: “The problem with the letter on role of judiciary, signed by 600 lawyers”. (I.E., 01.04.2024). Also see her interview by Karan Thapar: “600 Lawyers’ Letter a Threat to Judiciary By BJP Proxies But CJI is Also Bench-Fixing.”

Apparently the right wing propaganda machine is hyperactive and working overtime to capture even small, independent democratic spaces like CC.

Shobha Aggarwal is a lawyer practicing in Delhi. She is a member of PIL Watch Group and author of a citizen’s report titled: “The Public Interest Litigation Hoax – Truth Before the Nation.” Blog: https://pilwatchgroup.blogspot.com/


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