Bar and Bench in war of words in SC

Pursuant to the ugly spat, Senior Counsels Kapil Sibal and Neeraj Kishan Kaul who was waiting for the constitution bench to resume with the pleas related to Mahapolitical crisis expressed their regret

Published: 03rd March 2023 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2023 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Justice of India, CJI, DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India, (CJI) DY Chandrachud. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday witnessed a heated exchange between CJI DY Chandrachud and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Vikas Singh on a case related to the allotment of land for the construction of lawyer’s chambers.

During the mentioning of cases, the SCBA president sought to mention the matter before a bench of CJI and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, saying he was struggling to get the matter listed for the last six months. “The Appu Ghar land came to the Supreme Court on a petition by the SCBA and the Bar was given only one block with reluctance."

"The construction on the land was to begin during ex-CJI N V Ramana’s tenure. We have struggled to get the matter listed for the last six months. Treat me like an ordinary litigant,” Singh said. “I am only trying to get the matter listed. If it is not done, I will have to escalate and take it to your lordships’ residence. I don’t want the Bar to be taken like this,” he added.

“Mr Singh, I am the Chief Justice of India. You cannot expect the bench to be cowered on. I have been on the bench for a long time. I have never let myself be browbeaten by Bar members and I will not let it happen in the final two years of my tenure. You will be treated as an ordinary litigant. Please don’t force my hand to do something you don’t want,” the CJI remarked.

Expressing anger due to Singh’s continuous increased voice the CJI said, “Please don’t raise your voice. Please behave like a mentor for the bar, you being the president of SCBA. And do not attempt to twist out arms to accede to your demands.” The CJI said that he had given his final verdict that the matter will although be listed on March 17 but not high on board. “Please settle your agendas outside court,” the CJI remarked.

Pursuant to the ugly spat, Senior Counsels Kapil Sibal and Neeraj Kishan Kaul who was waiting for the constitution bench to resume with the pleas related to Maharashtra political crisis expressed their regret. “I’m sorry for what happened this morning. I don’t think that bar should transgress the limits of decorum. We all apologise,” Sibal said. Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul said, “We all jointly apologise. We are very sad. We feel equally anguished and hurt by what happened.”

Also in top court

Justice M R Shah not to recuse from Sanjiv Bhatt plea
SC judge Justice MR Shah has said that he would not recuse from hearing a plea filed by former Gujarat police officer Sanjiv Bhatt. The former IPS officer had sought permission for producing additional evidence before the Gujarat HC in his appeal against conviction in a custodial death case. In his plea, Bhatt had asked for the recusal of Justice Shah, saying that he had been part of the Bench that heard the matters pertaining to him, which arose from the FIR on the basis of which he was convicted.

HCs told not to quash FIRs in graft cases during probe 
SC has recently opined that it is desirable that HCs do not quash corruption cases’ FIRs at the investigation stage, even if it is suspected that the case has been registered by a new government against officers of the previous government. A Bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta observed that if the accused are allowed to go scot-free only on the ground that the action has been taken by the current regime in a malafide manner to “settle scores”, the criminal justice system will become a casualty. 


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