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Lawyers bodies at loggerheads on issue of SC judge's apology

New Delhi

06-December-2019

 Two top lawyers bodies -- the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Bar Council of India (BCI) -- have come to fault each other on the apology offered by senior Supreme Court judge Arun Mishra in the courtroom on Thursday for allegedly initiating contempt proceedings against a senior advocate.

The SCBA, in a statement, said the "derisive tone and tenor" of the press release issued by BCI on the matter was "unwarranted".

"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 it," the SCBA said, terming the statements made by BCI "not only vague and incorrect, but also highly unbecoming of the statutory authority".

The BCI on Thursday criticised the reaction of the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association (SCAORA) and the SCBA's Executive Committee, where the former had requested the judge to be "little bit more patient in dealing with lawyers". The BCI said the SCBA could have met the judge in his chamber.

Justice Mishra on Thursday apologized after he had warned senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan of contempt during the hearing of a case. "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 truth. The Executive Committee condemns the same in the strongest words possible," said the SCBA release.

The SCBA also said that the BCI should refrain itself from issuing such statements with "politically loaded motives", and it should immediately issue a clarification and "also withdraw its unwarranted remarks and sarcastic insinuations made against the Executive Committee of the SCBA and its members."