Ready to apologise to any lawyer I have unintentionally hurt: Justice Mishra


Senior advocates had urged SC judge to be patient with lawyers

Supreme Court judge, Justice Arun Mishra, offered on Thursday to apologise to any lawyer he has unintentionally hurt, saying words may have been uttered on the spur of the moment in the courtroom and is not meant to be personal in nature.

A battery of senior members of the Supreme Court Bar, from Kapil Sibal to A.M. Singhvi to Dushyant Dave and Mukul Rohatgi, had converged in Justice Mishra’s court in the morning to urge him to be patient with lawyers while hearing cases. Mr. Rohatgi said judges and lawyers come and go, but the atmosphere of mutual courtesy and cordiality must live on.

The interaction was triggered by Justice Mishra reportedly threatening senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan with contempt a couple of days ago during a Constitution Bench hearing in a land acquisition case.

The executive committee of the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association had on Wednesday passed a resolution saying lawyers have been repeatedly raising grievances about “unwanted treatment” and “personal remarks” by Justice Mishra.

“Many of us have been in this Bar for over 40 years and know the tradition of this Bar. We have learnt our traditions from our seniors and if there is a an environment of discourtesy, distinguished Judges who reach [the Bench] will also learn from there.... only requesting you to allow the tradition to continue and allow the dialogue to be courteous,” Mr. Sibal said in court.

Mr. Dave asked the Bench, which also comprised Justice M.R. Shah, to encourage young lawyers and help “rebuild this great institution.”

Justice Mishra, in turn, recounted his years as a lawyer and a judge. He said he was always known as a ‘Pro-Bar Judge.’ He said he had no qualms about apologising even a 100 times if he had hurt anyone, however young the lawyer may be.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said he personally was of the opinion that the incident with Mr. Sankaranarayanan was not reported in its entirety. However, the law officer echoed the need for an atmosphere of mutual cordiality in court.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:56:56 PM |

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