Supreme Court dismisses plea against Justice Chandrachud’s promotion, calls it ‘wrong’

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking restraining Justice DY Chandrachud from taking oath as the next Chief Justice of India.

The petitioner’s counsel mentioned this before the bench, also comprising Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, and sought an urgent hearing on Thursday. The court, however, decided to hear the matter on Wednesday itself.

The petition was based on a communication addressed to the President against the CJI nominated by one Rashid Khan Pathan from Mumbai. Some time ago, when the letter was circulated for the first time on social media, various organizations of lawyers had issued statements condemning it.

As the proceedings began on Wednesday, the counsel wondered whether the CJI should hear it due to the conflict of interest as he had already recommended Justice Chandrachud to succeed him to the higher post. But the CJI said that the bench is only trying to see whether the petitioner has made a case with his allegations.

The lawyer said Justice Chandrachud heard an appeal in a case and passed an order in which his son had appeared before the Bombay High Court. He said Justice Chandrachud should not have heard the matter when a family member is appearing in the matter. The counsel pointed out that though the body had once said that the judge was not aware of the fact that his son had appeared in the case, it could not be so as the High Court order sheet was attached to the appeal.

The court then asked the counsel to show evidence that the said order was attached to the appeal paper book. The lawyers could not immediately find it in their documents and urged the court to post the matter for Thursday. But the CJI refused to adjourn and told him, “Whatever you want to argue, you debate now.”

The counsel said that Justice Chandrachud had “forced” the litigants to take the vaccine, apparently after a bench headed by him refused to stop the vaccination introduced in the wake of the Covid 10 pandemic. The court, however, was not convinced by his arguments and dismissed the petition.