NEW DELHI: It was a sense of déja-vu for Sahara chief Subrata Roy as the Supreme Court on Friday almost asked him to go back behind bars.
The day started with the outburst of senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan before Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, which led the Bench to cancel all interim arrangements of granting parole to Roy and Sahara directors Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey and ordered that they be taken into custody.
Hours later, ailing senior advocate Kapil Sibal pacified the Chief Justice and offered an unconditional apology and assured that the advocate who appeared actually went much beyond the brief given by his clients (Sahara). However, the apex court granted a week to embattled Roy and the others to surrender.
Expressing regret on the manner in which Dhawan addressed the court earlier, the Bench said “there are some senior advocates who are disrespectful to the court” and play with its dignity. The Bench then went on to cancel all interim arrangements granting parole to Roy and the others. The Bench fixed the fresh plea of Roy seeking modification of the court’s order on September 28.
In the afternoon, after Sibal apologised, the Chief Justice, who was sitting in a different Bench, said, “The court does not have problem with anyone, but there has to be some respect for the chair and the institution.”
The Chief Justice further said it was very unfortunate and added, “We don’t need respect from lawyers as much as the institution does but you can’t go on brow-beating judges.”
“One may be eloquent and a scholar but that doesn’t allow anyone to throw around your weight or raise your voice,” the CJI said. “Our tolerance level is very high but not always,” he said, expressing regret to Sibal for having drawn him out of the sick bed.
The CJI, while agreeing to hear Sahara’s plea for recall of the day’s order after consulting the other two judges of the special Bench hearing the issue, said, “At the end of the day we also do some introspection. We also think of what we are speaking in the court. We also think that our words don’t show any disrespect to anyone.”