‘Vested interests’ trying to influence judiciary: 600 lawyers to CJI

New Delhi: More than 600 lawyers in India, including senior advocates Harish Salve and Pinky Anand, have flagged their concerns over attempts by a “vested interest group” to influence the judiciary in a letter to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. The lawyers claimed that the group was employing pressure tactics to influence judicial outcomes, especially in cases involving political leaders and corruption charges.

“These actions pose a significant threat to the democratic fabric and the trust placed in judicial processes,” the lawyers further said in the letter under the subject head “Threat to the judiciary”. The lawyers claimed that the “interest group” was propagating false narratives about a so-called “golden era” of the judiciary in a bid to discredit current proceedings and undermining public confidence in the courts.

The lawyers flagged that some of the tactics employed by the group include selective criticism or praise of court decisions based on their political agenda, calling it a “my way or the highway” approach. “It’s troubling to see some lawyers defend politicians by the day, and then try to influence judges through the media at night,” the letter to the CJI said.

The letter highlighted that the group was peddling an entire theory of “bench fixing” and expressed concern over “political flip-flopping”. “It is strange to see politicians accuse someone of corruption and then defend them in court. If the court’s decision doesn’t go their way, they quickly criticize the courts inside the court as well as through the media,” the lawyers said.

Underscoring that the developments come just ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the group of lawyers alleged that some elements were trying to influence the judges and spreading lies on social media to put pressure on the judges to decide in a particular way in their cases.

“These efforts to belittle and manipulate the courts for personal and political reasons cannot be allowed under any circumstances. We request the Supreme Court to stand strong and take steps to protect our courts from these attacks,” the letter further said.

Image courtesy of barandbench.com

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