New Delhi: The 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, a heated argument allegedly broke out between Justice Mishra, who is 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.
Echoing his concern on the issue, senior advocate and former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Vikas Singh has written a letter to the current President and senior advocate Rakesh Kumar Khanna. "You will appreciate that in the functioning of the Supreme Court, both lawyers and judges are equal stakeholders and their relationship should be based upon mutual respect and trust," said Singh in the letter insisting on calling an urgent Executive Committee meeting and pass a resolution condemning this incident.
"Terrorising the lawyers under the threat of contempt and not allowing them to argue under that threat undermines the very fundamentals of the justice delivery system," Singh said in his letter.