During the hearing of a land allotment issue on Thursday, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud ordered Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh to leave the courtroom following a heated argument between the two.
The CJI further directed the lawyer to speak quietly as he explained to a panel comprising the CJI, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala that he had not been successful in getting the matter listed for six months.
Vikas Singh said: “The land of Appu Ghar came to the Supreme Court on a petition by the SCBA, and the Bar was reluctantly given only one block. Construction on the land was to begin during the tenure of former CJI NV Ramana. For six months we are struggling to get this matter listed. Treat me like a common litigant.”
“You cannot demand land like this. You tell us that we are sitting idle all day,” retorted the CJI.
Singh replied to the CJI, “I am not saying that you are sitting idle all day. I am only trying to list the matter. If that is not done, then go ahead and take me to your residence.” Will be. I don’t want the bar to be taken that way.”
Chandrachud became further irate and remarked, “Don’t threaten the Chief Justice. Is this a way to behave? Please sit down. It will not be listed like this. Please leave my court. I will not list like this.” . I will not do.” Scared of you.”
The CJI said: “Mr. Vikas Singh, please do not raise your voice. As a Chairman, you should be the mentor and leader of the Bar. I am sorry that you are lowering the level of dialogue. You have filed an Article 32 petition claiming that the land allotted to the Supreme Court should be handed over to the Bar for construction of chambers. We will deal with it when the matter comes up. Please feel free to twist our hands to give the relief you want Do not try.”
He said, “You are demanding the Supreme Court to give the allotted land to the bar. I have announced my decision. It will be taken up on the 17th and it will not be on the first board.”
The SCBA president said, “If my lord wants to dismiss it, please do it. But if it is not listed then don’t do it.”
The CJI replied, “I have announced my decision. It is on 17th March and will not be listed at serial number 1, Mr. Singh.” However, the senior counsel refused to let it go and claimed that the Bar has always supported the court. “I never want to be disrespectful, but I am forced to do so in this case,” he said.
Following which, Chandrachud told Singh, “I am the Chief Justice. I am here since March 29, 2000. I have been in this profession for 22 years. I have never allowed myself to be intimidated by any member of the bar, litigant.” ” or someone else. I will not do that in the last two years of my career.”
To which Singh went on and said, “That is not the attitude. If the bar is cooperating with the court, it does not mean that it should be taken for a ride. This is something that I feel very strongly.” I want to make it very clear.”
The CJI then said “Please settle your agenda outside the courtroom” and called for the next matter.
As the hearing came to an end, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was also in the court for the Shiv Sena case, apologized to the bench on behalf of the bar and said, “I am sorry for what happened this morning. I apologise. A Lakshman rekha which none of us should cross. I don’t think the bar should cross the line of decency.”
The CJI said, “There is no reason to behave like this. We sit here the whole day and take up 70-80 cases in a day. For all these cases, I sit with my staff in the evening and give them dates.” .”
Senior advocate Niraj Kishan Kaul tendered an apology saying, “We all share in this and feel equally pained by what happened.”