November 10, 2017
CJI Dipak Misra said that he strongly stands by Freedom of Speech & Expression, & that he wouldn’t gag the press from reporting this matter.
On Friday, Chief Justice of India’s Court witnessed major drama this afternoon as Adv. Prashant Bhushan stormed out of the Court, after expressing strong displeasure at not being heard.
The dramatic turn of events transpired in the Apex Court after CJI Dipak Misra constituted a Constitution Bench to hear the case relating to the attempt to influence Supreme Court Judges in a case relating to opening of Medical colleges.
A five Judge Bench of CJI Dipak Misra, Justice RK Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Amitava Roy & Justice AM Khanwilkar was hearing the petition filed by ‘Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms’ (CJAR).
This sudden formation of Constitution Bench took place after a Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri & Ashok Bhushan this morning heard the petition filed by CJAR & directed it to be tagged along with another similar petition filed by Kamini Jaiswal.
Subsequently, a notice was issued this afternoon listing the matter for 3:00 pm before a 7-Judge Constitution Bench. Just minutes before this hearing, the strength of the Bench was changed to 5 judges.
This hearing before the Constitution Bench then witnessed high voltage arguments as the Supreme Court Bar Association President R.S. Suri, Secretary Gaurav Bhatia & a slew of advocates assembled in the Court to oppose the conduct of Petitioner’s lawyers.
They took objection to the fact that a similar petition was mentioned & heard yesterday by Justice Chelameswar, which they alleged was by-passing of the Chief Justice of India’s administrative powers.
Secretary Gaurav Bhatia argued that some Senior Lawyers were indulging in browbeating of Judges & if contempt action can be initiated against the junior lawyers or AoRs, it should equally apply to Senior counsel.
Secretary Bhatia said “A young lawyer was debarred for 1 month. Some senior counsel have been brow beating Judges. It has become a routine.”
Other Lawyers seated in the Court were also allowed to speak their concerns against the Petitioners, many of them called for action to be taken against the Petitioner’s counsel.
After lawyers finished speaking, Adv. Prashant Bhushan tried to make his arguments.
Even as he was trying to make his submissions, the Bench kept on quizzing him. Adv. Bhushan said that even those who’re not parties to this matter were heard by the Bench, but he wasn’t being allowed to speak.
However, the Bench was unrelenting. This prompted Bhushan to raise his voice & say, “Your Lordships can pass an order without hearing me, you’ve heard persons who aren’t parties to the case for 1 hour. If Your Lordships want to pass an order without hearing me, then do it!”
Then he stormed out of the Court with the marshalls escorting him.
The Supreme Court then proceeded to pass an order reaffirming that the Chief Justice of India is master of the roster & any order passed by any Judge allocating a matter to any bench’ll not hold field.
Towards the end of the hearing, CJI Dipak Misra said that he strongly stands by Freedom of Speech & Expression, & that he wouldn’t gag the press from reporting the matter.
Bench then ordered that Petition by CJAR be placed before the CJI for listing before ‘appropriate bench’.
Source - ptinews.com