Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: Expressing concern and anguish at the anonymous letter, allegedly threatening Justice A.R. Lakshmanan not to take up the assets case involving Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the All-India Bar Association (AIBA) on Friday demanded a thorough enquiry. In a statement here, SCBA president M.N. Krishnamani said the entire Bar was distressed at a sitting judge of the Supreme Court being threatened by an individual. This amounted to contempt of court. "

The SCBA demands a thorough probe to find out who wrote the letter and to take to task the person responsible for it."

The threat affected the independence of the judiciary as such. "Tomorrow this kind of anonymous letters will start in respect of other judges who will be swayed not to hear sensitive and high profile cases." While stating that the entire Bar was with Mr. Justice Lakshmanan on this issue, Mr. Krishnamani said he ought not to have recused himself from the case.

AIBA chairman and vice-chairman Adish C. Aggarwala and S. Prabhakaran expressed solidarity with Justice Lakshmanan and demanded a CBI enquiry into the mystery behind the letter.

In a statement, they said the letter amounted to blackmail and such incidents should be firmly dealt with.