Four judges of India’s top court criticize its administration

The four of us are convinced that unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country,” Justice Jasti Chelameswar said at a news conference. (Reuters)
Updated 12 January 2018

Four judges of India’s top court criticize its administration

NEW DELHI: Four sitting judges of the Supreme Court of India on Friday said the administration of the highest court was not in order, warning that democracy would not survive in the country unless the institution was preserved.
The judges blew the lid on a growing rift with Chief Justice Dipak Misra at a news conference, the first of its kind ever held by sitting judges of India’s top court.
“The four of us are convinced that unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country,” Justice Jasti Chelameswar said on the lawns of his residence in the Indian capital.
Reuters could not immediately reach the chief justice for comment.
Chelameswar, speaking beside his colleagues, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph, said they did not want to be accused of not having spoken up for the institution, or of “selling their souls.”
Efforts to alert the Chief Justice that certain things were not in order and that remedial measures needed to be taken had failed, prompting the news conference, Chelameswar said.
“This is not a political meeting,” he said, adding that the judges were releasing a letter detailing their concerns.


Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters

Updated 25 January 2020

Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters

  • The territorial waters Morocco has claimed include the coast off Western Sahar
  • The territory has been contested between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front since the Spanish colonial period ended in 1975

RABAT: The Moroccan and Spanish foreign ministers said on Friday their countries would hold talks about overlapping areas of ocean that they both claim rights to in the North Atlantic.
The territorial waters Morocco has claimed include the coast off Western Sahara, a territory that has been contested between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front since the Spanish colonial period ended in 1975.
Morocco’s parliament passed two bills this week to give domestic legal cover to a coastal area the North African country already controls, causing concern in Spain’s Canary Islands, where the government warned of overlaps with Spanish territorial waters.
Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita said that defining territorial waters was a “sovereign right” and that his country aimed to upgrade domestic law in compliance with the UN law of the sea convention.
“In case of overlaps, international law requires states to negotiate,” said Bourita following talks with his Spanish peer, Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
“Morocco rejects unilateral acts and fait accompli,” he said, adding that Spain was a “strategic partner” and Morocco’s largest trading partner.
Gonzalez Laya said Morocco’s willingness to negotiate “reassures the Canary Islands.”
“Morocco is a source of stability for Spain,” she said, citing “close cooperation” in the fight against jihadists and illegal migration.