NEW DELHI, Jan. 12 -- Today marks one year of the press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court, laying bare the improprieties in the highest echelons of the judiciary before the nation. The aftermath of the meeting was pregnant with possibility. Would Chief Justice Dipak Misra (now retired) resign? Would Parliament, which had been angling to pass a judicial accountability law, do so? Above all, would it mark a new beginning for the Supreme Court itself as an introspective institution, candid about its faults and open to being scrutinised by noisy journalists, as the judges at the press conference were?

One year on, none of these possibilities have come to fruition. While it would have been naive to expect a structural transf...