Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice (retd) Bashir Ahmad Khan on Friday said the faith in the highest court of the nation was shaken after the four senior Supreme Court judges went public about their grievances.”This is shocking but some kind of lava was there, which exploded. So far, it has damaged the institution and has shaken away faith that the people had in the highest court”, Justice Khan told DNA.The former Chief Justice said that this had raised issues, which were detrimental to the interests of the independence of the Judiciary.”Things like selective assignments of cases to benches and to usher important cases to favorites raises serious questions. Why shouldn’t the memorandum of procedure, which has been finalised by the Supreme Court a few months back, put to operations?” he asked.Another former judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi however, hoped that things can still be resolved because all was not lost.”It does impact the institution. People have faith in the judiciary. They know it is the last resort and the last option to get their grievances redressed. This does create dents. There is still hope that things could be resolved”, said Justice Masoodi.Justice Masoodi had created flutter in 2015 when he ruled that Article 370 enshrined in the Constitution of India cannot be abrogated, repealed or even amended and observed that replacing post of ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’ (president of state) by Governor (in 1965) was “not within the amending power of the state legislature”.”I think there can be genuine effort to evolve consensus and iron out the difficulties. If there is a misunderstanding, there are objections that can be sorted out. Everything is not lost. There can be, at this stage, some genuine and serious efforts be made to evolve that consensus notwithstanding what happened,” said Justice Masoodi.Noted Supreme Court Advocate Prof Bhim singh appealed the Chief Justice of India to hold a close door meeting of the sitting judges of the Supreme Court immediately and sort out these spoken differences.”There were occasions when differences arose among the sitting judges of the Supreme Court they are witnessed from the dissenting judgments even in highly important and political cases like Golaknath. There were dissenting judgments while dealing interpretation of Article 368. Never before in the history of Supreme Court, we (the advocates of the Supreme Court) witnessed such a naked drama”, said Prof Singh.
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