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‘Contempt threat’ to lawyer: SC judge apologises

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New Delhi: Two days after he had warned a senior lawyer of contempt action while hearing a land acquisition matter, Justice Arun Mishra on Thursday said he would ‘apologise a hundred times’ with ‘folded hands’ if anybody was hurt by his words,

Justice Mishra’s remarks came after a battery of senior lawyers led by Kapil Sibal, Mukul Rohatgi, A M Singhvi, Dushyant Dave and Supreme Court Bar Association President Rakesh Khanna requested him to be patient in dealing with them during the course of judicial proceedings.

“If I have hurt anybody, I not only apologise but I will give ‘dandavat’ apology a hundred times,” Justice Mishra said, adding, “If anybody has felt anything at any point of time, with folded hands, I am apologising”.

Justice Mishra, who heads a 5-judge Constitution bench hearing land acquisition matters, warned senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan on Tuesday of contempt while he was advancing his arguments.

“I request your lordship to be little more patient,” Sibal said, adding the “environment of discourtesy” should not be there.

Dave said that young members of the bar need encouragement from the bench and “please help us all to rebuild this great institution”.

Rohatgi, while saying that cordiality between the bar and the bench should always be maintained, said that lot of young lawyers are “fearful” in coming to Justice Mishra’s court and this affects the institution.

Justice Mishra said if the lawyers have any impression that he was against the bar, then “it is my fault that I have failed to make you understand”.

“The burden that is put upon this forum, the number of cases I am dealing with is so much that under pressure if I had said anything, I want to say that I never meant it from the core of my heart,” he said.

Justice Mishra said that “arrogance” is destroying the institution of bar and lawyers should always be polite while arguing their matters.

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