'Grade F for Top Court on Migrant Crisis': How SC Reacted When Ex-Judge Penned Down Sharp Words

Utkarsh Anand

A day after its former judge Madan B Lokur penned down an article giving a grade 'F' to the Supreme Court for its handling of migrants, the top court called it “unfortunate” that those who have been a part of the institution believe that they can now run it down.

As it took up a matter relating to plight of migrant workers, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay K Kaul and MR Shah, observed that they had taken the suo motu cognizance of the issue because of their conscience.

During the proceedings on Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central government, addressed the bench on an ancillary point as to how a “handful of people” want to control the Supreme Court and want the Court to abuse the executive.

At this, the bench said that the apex court will go only by its conscience and nothing else. “We have taken a suo motu cognizance of this matter and we will go only by our conscience,” it said.

At this point, the Solicitor General added: “Some individuals have started giving grades that this would be a ‘B’ Grade Court, a ‘C’ Grade Court or a ‘F’ Grade Court. Unfortunately people from our profession and that too certain learned people have started to do so.”

The law officer also implored upon the Supreme Court to respond as an institution and make sure that a “handful of people” must not be able to drive the exercise of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

The bench, at this, remarked: “People, who have been a part of this institution, if they think they can run down the institution, it is unfortunate.”

On Wednesday evening, retired Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur had an article published on a web portal, titled as “Supreme Court Deserves an 'F' Grade For Its Handling of Migrants”, in which the apex court was criticized for the manner in which it had dealt with the issue when it took up different petitions.

Author of the article, Justice Lokur, contended that the Supreme Court forgot what public interest litigation is all about and that if a grading is to be given, it deserves an ‘F’.

The former judge added that the Supreme Court had not even bothered to question the statement made or hold the Central government to account, despite more than enough evidence available everywhere. Newspaper and media reports were ignored, read the article, adding the lack of interest and compassion shown by the court was also unprecedented.