Sr. SC judge apologises to lawyer over contempt warning
A senior Supreme Court judge on Thursday expressed his willingness to apologize in an open courtroom for his conduct during a hearing where he had issued contempt threat to a senior advocate.
The reaction from judge came a day after lawyers' association issued a statement requesting him to be patient with lawyers.
"If anybody had felt anything bad, I am ready to apologise with folded hands. I am not at all somebody who is egoistic. I am ready to die for the Bar," said Justice Arun Mishra.
A battery of senior advocates, led by Kapil Sibal, Mukul Rohatgi, Abhishek Singhvi and also the Supreme Court Bar Association president Rakesh Khanna, mentioned the issue as soon as a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah assembled in court number 3 to conduct the day's proceedings.
Justice Mishra also expressed his concern on the targeting of the judiciary in television programmes and news articles in connection with court proceedings, and insisted that he can apologize a hundred times to any lawyer who felt hurt by his conduct.
Justice Mishra insisted that he is willing to apologize, but he also felt the reaction of the lawyer, which triggered the heated exchange, was not proper.
Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) Wednesday expressed deep concern over the alleged threat of contempt proceedings and conviction by a senior Supreme Court judge to a senior advocate during the course of a hearing.
A statement issued by SCAORA said, "The EC of SCAORA expresses deep concern over the threat of contempt proceedings and conviction by Justice Arun Mishra to Gopal Sankaranarayanan, while he was performing his professional duties." The body of lawyers requested Justice Mishra "to be little bit more patient in dealing with lawyers."
On Tuesday, allegedly a heated argument broke out between Justice Mishra, heading a 5-judge Constitution Bench hearing cases associated with land acquisition, and Sankaranarayanan after the judge asked him not to repeat the argument. The judge then warned the senior advocate of contempt proceedings and ensuring his conviction in the same.
After this, Sankaranarayanan collected his files and walked out of the courtroom.
"Several members of the Bar have repeatedly been raising such grievance about the unwanted treatment and passing personal remarks by Justice Mishra," said the SCAORA resolution, adding that the duty to maintain the court's dignity and decorum was upon both lawyers and judges.IANS