The Supreme Court on Wednesday took exception to the statements made by advocate Prashant Bhushan in an interview given by him in an English magazine against the judiciary in relation to the "coal case".

A three-judge Bench comprising Justices R.M. Lodha, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph at a special sitting took cognisance of Mr. Bhushan’s interview in the magazine and said the statements made by him were disturbing and uncalled for.

In the interview Mr. Bhushan was reported to have found fault with the judges for not taking any action against Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati even after he misled the court saying that he did not access the CBI affidavit before it was filed.

Justice Lodha told Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran and Mr. Bhushan "we got very disturbed when it was brought to our notice and listed the case for today. The statement like this is speculative and it is extremely difficult for us to work. A matter {coal case} of this nature involves complexities and legal issues. When it {such statement} comes to our notice we are really disturbed. We do not function in this manner."

Mr. Bhushan said, "I accept Your Lordships are doing an unpleasant job. The question arose in the context of what the Attorney General told us that he was not privy to changing the status report. He {AG} had said he had not seen the status report. But when the CBI Director had gone to the Law Minister’s house, the AG was also present."

Justice Lodha said, "We judges hear and decide cases fearlessly and fingers should not be raised questioning their conduct. Judges never lag behind in passing order when justice demands. If we cannot act fearlessly, without ill-will and without favour, then who else will? It is the personality of a judge which is a guarantee to justice."

When Mr. Bhushan said, "whatever I said in the interview is my perception," Justice Lodha said "even your perception disturbs us. The damage has been done as you cannot retrieve an arrow when it goes out of your hands. Such statements must be avoided if it affects functioning of an institution. We are cut-off from social life and we don't interact with people socially. I can't explain to you and you cannot even imagine that we have absolutely no social interaction except in conferences and functions where we interact and shake hands."

Mr. Bhushan later apologised and said he was extremely sorry if his statements had hurt the Bench. He said that he had highest regard for the court. The Bench recorded his apology and closed the proceedings.

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