NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Bar Association and Bar Council of India were at loggerheads Friday with SCBA condemning the BCI statement for making public the issue involving apex court judge Justice Arun Mishra, who had apologised on Thursday for his alleged 'contempt threat' to a senior advocate.
The "derisive tone and tenor" of the BCI press release on the issue was unwarranted and it should refrain from issuing such statements with "politically loaded motives", SCBA said.
The BCI, a statutory apex body for lawyers had on Thursday criticised the reaction of Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association (SCAORA) and the executive committee of SCBA, which had requested the judge to be "little bit more patient in dealing with lawyers".
The BCI had said in its release that instead of making the issue public, the SCBA could have met the judge in his chamber for expressing its views.
Justice Mishra had on Thursday said he would "apologise a hundred times" with "folded hands" if anybody is hurt by his words, two days after he had warned senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan of contempt action while hearing a land acquisition matter.
However, the SCBA said in its press release that the BCI statement issued by its Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra has recorded incorrect and inappropriate statements regarding SCBA and its members and was "unwarranted, vague, incorrect and highly unbecoming of the statutory authority".
"The derisive tone and tenor of the Press Release qua the Supreme Court Bar Association and its Executive Committee is unwarranted and the facts state therein are incorrect and far from the truth. The Executive Committee condemns the same in the strongest words possible. The Executive Committee of the SCBA not only takes a strong objection to it but also deplores the BCI for interfering with the functioning of the SCBA Executive Committee," said the SCBA release.
It also said that the BCI should refrain itself from issuing such statements with "politically loaded motives" and demanded that its Chairman immediately issue a clarificatory statement.
"The office-bearers of the statutory body must refrain themselves from issuing such statements with politically loaded motives, which this press release has intended to do. The Executive Committee strongly condemns the press release dated December 4 issued by the BCI signed by its Chairman and Co-Chairman requires them to immediately issue a clarificatory statement and also to withdraw its unwarranted remarks and sarcastic insinuations made against the Executive Committee of the SCBA and its members," the SCBA said.
It said that some of the contesting candidates of SCBA attempted to politicise the issue for their own electoral benefits and advised the contestants to refrain from such practices.
"The press release regarding electing office bearers of the Executive Committee of the SCBA, passing sarcastic insinuations and making incorrect remarks against the present Executive Committee is condemned in the strongest possible words as the same are mischievous and have been made with oblique purposes.
"The Executive Committee has however observed that some of the contesting candidates of the SCBA have attempted to politicise the issue for their own electoral benefits. Such acts are solemnly deprecated and the contesting candidates colleagues are advised to refrain from such practices," it said.
BCI had on Thursday said that it was the duty of the SCBA to maintain the dignity and decorum of the court and to stop such lawyers from creating "frequent nuisances" in courtrooms and from "unnecessary criticizing and targeting any particular judge".
It also criticised the letter written by senior advocate and former president of SCBA Vikas Singh to incumbent SCBA president and senior lawyer Rakesh Kumar Khanna to call an urgent meeting to "condemn" the incident, saying it is hoped that he would not do anything which could lay a bad precedent for future.