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DY Chandrachud: Go out of the court, you cannot suppress me, why did CJI Chandrachud get angry in SC

A heated exchange took place in the Supreme Court on Thursday between Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) over a matter relating to allotment of land for the Chamber of Lawyers. Senior advocate and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Vikas Singh was asked by the Chief Justice not to raise his voice and to leave the court.

SCBA president wanted to place this issue before the bench of Justice Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala during the mensing of cases and said that he has been trying to get the matter listed for the last six months.

Singh said, ‘On the petition of SCBA, the land of Appu Ghar was given to the Supreme Court and SCBA was reluctantly given only one block. Construction on this land was to begin during the tenure of former Chief Justice NV Raman. For the last 6 months, we are trying to get the matter listed. Let me be treated like an ordinary litigant. Then the Chief Justice said, ‘You cannot ask for land like this. You tell us one day when we have been sitting idle all day.

…and the CJI got angry

On this Singh said, ‘I did not say that you are sitting idle all day. I am only trying to get the matter listed. If this is not done then I will have to take this matter to your residence. I do not want the bar to behave like this. CJI Chandrachud got angry on this. He said, ‘Don’t threaten the Chief Justice. Should it be treated like this? have a seat please. It will not be listed as such. Please leave my court. I will not list (the matter) like this. You can’t suppress me.’

He said, ‘Mr Vikas Singh, don’t raise your voice so high. As President you should be the mentor and leader of the Bar. I am sorry that you are lowering the standard of communication. You have filed a petition under Article 32 claiming that the land allotted to the Supreme Court should be given to the Bar for the construction of the chamber. We will see it when the case comes. Don’t try to run us on your own terms.

‘I have given my verdict’

Chief Justice Chandrachud said, ‘You are asking the court to give a land allotted to the bar. I have given my verdict. It will be taken up on 17th (March) and it will not be number one in the list of cases. The SCBA president said, ‘If you want to reject it, please do so, but don’t do it so that it is not listed at all.’

The senior advocate continued and said that the Bar has always supported the court. He said, ‘I never want this kind of behavior, but I am forced to do so in this case.’ CJI Chandrachud told Singh, ‘I am the Chief Justice. I am here since March 29, 2000. I am in this profession since 22 years. I have never allowed myself to be pressurized by any member of the bar, litigant or anyone else. I will not do this even in the last two years of my career.

‘It’s not arrogance’

However, Singh continued to present his stand. He said, ‘This is not arrogance. If SCBA is cooperating with this court, it does not mean that it should be taken lightly. I strongly feel so. I want to make this very clear.
The CJI said, ‘Solve your agenda outside the courtroom.’ After this he asked to present the next case.

When the mention of the cases was over, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was present in the court for a Shiv Sena case, expressed regret on behalf of the Bar, saying, ‘I am sorry for what happened in the morning. I apologise. There is a Lakshman Rekha, which none of us should cross. I do not think that the bar should cross the limits of decorum.

The Chief Justice said, ‘There is no need for such behaviour. We sit here whole day and take 70-80 cases every day. For all these matters, I sit with my staff in the evening and give them dates. Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul also expressed regret and said, “We are all equally saddened by what happened.”