The Supreme Court on Tuesday took exception to the CBI's “contemptuous averments” made against subordinate judicial officers in Gujarat that they would not be impartial, to press its demand that the Sohrabuddin case against the former Home Minister, Amit Shah, and others be shifted outside the State.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranja Desai is hearing the CBI's appeal seeking cancellation of bail to Mr. Shah and for transferring the Sohrabuddin case for trial to some other State.

Additional Advocate-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat, drew the court's attention to the CBI's averments which, she said, were “contemptuous, bald and vague.”

Mr. Mehta pointed out that the CBI had, in its counter affidavit, said the chargesheeted accused persons had their kith and kin in the subordinate judiciary as prosecutors, magistrates as well as judges. But the State government, which examined the allegation, found that none of the accused shown in the charge sheet had any relative either in the subordinate judiciary or otherwise in any capacity. “Such averments by the CBI would seriously affect the ‘credibility, majesty and independence' of judicial institutions in Gujarat,” he said and wanted the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the officers responsible for filing such an affidavit.

Justice Desai told Additional Solicitor-General Vivek Tanka, appearing for the CBI, “This is highly irresponsible.”

Justice Alam asked him: “How could you make such a statement, why did you make such an averment? Do you want to retain it or withdraw it?”

The ASG said: “I don't subscribe to it. I came into the picture much later. I will make an application and make a prayer for deletion [of paragraphs] from the petition.”

Justice Alam observed, “In our system, there is a separation of power and the judiciary is independent and to say that the judiciary even at the lower rank will toe the political line is complete nonsense. To systematise an institution [in this manner], we totally disapprove of such statements of the CBI. We will protect the judiciary. One or two individuals may commit mistakes, but you can't generalise it.”