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'SC Has Come To Such Levels Where Judges Are Afraid Of Bar': SCBA President Dushyant Dave Writes To CJI Alleging He Was Not Allowed To Speak In Justice Arun Mishra's Farewell

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
2 Sep 2020 9:15 AM GMT
SC Has Come To Such Levels Where Judges Are Afraid Of Bar: SCBA President Dushyant Dave Writes To CJI Alleging He Was Not Allowed To Speak In Justice Arun Mishras Farewell
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Upset by deprivation of an opportunity to speak at the virtual farewell ceremony of Justice Arun Mishra today, SCBA President Dushyant Dave has said that he shall not participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till the end of his term in December this year.

Saddened by the incident, Dave has written a letter to the CJI expressing his "strong disappointment and condemnation" over the same.

"I must confess, the Supreme Court has come to such levels where the Judges are afraid of the Bar. Please do remember, Judges come and go but we the Bar remain constant. We are the real strength of this great Institution because we are permanent.

I must say, I am personally deeply saddened by this events and will never again participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till my term is over in December," he wrote.

As per the letter, Dave was invited to the farewell ceremony of Justice Mishra by the concerned Registrar, through Whatsapp. He claims that he joined the ceremony timely and was able to see and hear all the proceedings clearly. However, to his utmost surprise, he was kept on mute and was not allowed to bid farewell. At this stage, Dave said, realising the "game plan" he exited the ceremony in the larger interests of the dignity of the Bar and of himself.

Iterating the chain of events during the ceremony Dave wrote:

"I got a link this morning at 10.06 to join the Ceremonial Bench of the Chief Justice of India at 12.30 pm from the Team SCI VC and which was sent on WhatsApp App. I responded at 10.16 accepting it which was acknowledged by the Registrar at 10.18.

I joined through the link around 12.20 pm and was confirmed by the Team saying Video and Audio were perfect. I then had conversations with the AG, the SG, President SCORA , amongst others . Once the Court assembled, I saw and heard all the proceedings clearly. At the end Mr Rohtagi bid farewell.

After Court work, Mr Venugopal was requested to speak and I saw and heard him fully including as to his disappointment on punishment of Shri Prashant Bhushan .

When he ended , I thought that I will be requested to speak , instead Mr Jadhav was requested knowing full well I was present . For some unknown reasons, I was being disconnected again and again but I persisted and rejoined each time. I saw and heard Shri Jadhav fully and at the end of his address again I was not requested to speak though Shri Jadhav has acknowledged my presence in his address .

After that Your Lordship spoke which I saw and heard and then invited Justice Mishra to speak. At that stage realising the game plan I exited in the larger interests of the dignity of the Bar and Myself."

He told that he contacted the Secretary General, informing him of the "game plan" and asking as to why he had been kept on mute. However, the Secretary General responded quite late and by that time Mr. Dave had already exited the ceremony.

Saddened by such neglect Dave wrote,

"The entire episode leaves much to be desired on the part of this great Institution . The whole attempt was to prevent me from addressing on behalf of the SCBA and its EC , after having invited and invitation having been accepted . This was clearly an affront to the Bar and to me personally."

He went on to claim that he was deprived of an opportunity to speak at the ceremony as the Judges feared that he shall say something unpleasant, whereas, he only desired to wish Justice Mishra "happiness and bliss" in the remainder of his "long life which by all accounts will be as fruitful and rewarding as it has been."

Earlier, Justice Mishra had declined the invitations of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Confederation of the Indian Bar to attend farewell functions saying that that his conscience does not allow him to attend any farewell functions at a time when there is suffering around the world on account of the COVID-19 situation.

UPDATE from Supreme Court PRO

" The technical cell of Supreme Court wishes to clarify that they had sent the link to Mr Dave, but he could not retrieve the same due to some technical glitches at his (Dave's) end. There was never any direction or intention to not allow him to speak. It is next to impossible that, as per protocol, the President of the Bar will not be allowed at the farewell of a Judge".

Justice Arun Mishra Bids Farewell; Says 'I Have Dealt With Every Case With My Conscience & Conviction '


Read the Full Letter Here

To ,

Honble Shri Sharad Bobde ,

The Chief Justice of India ,

The Supreme Court of India ,

New Delhi .

Sir ,

As President of the Supreme Court Bar Association , I wish to place on record my strong disappointment and condemnation at what happened earlier today in the Supreme Court of India during the Farewell to Justice Arun Mishra .

I got a link this morning at 10.06 to join the Ceremonial Bench of the Chief Justice of India at 12.30 pm from the Team SCI VC and which was sent on WhatsApp App by the concerned Registrar . I responded at 10.16 accepting it which was acknowledged by the Registrar at 10.18 .

I joined through the link around 12.20 pm and was confirmed by the Team saying Video and Audio were perfect . I then had conversations with the AG , the SG , President SCORA , amongst others . Once the Court assembled , I saw and heard all the proceedings clearly . At the end Mr Rohtagi bid farewell .

After Court work , Mr Venugopal was requested to speak and I saw and heard him fully including as to his disappointment on punishment of Shri Prashant Bhushan .

When he ended , I thought that I will be requested to speak , instead Mr Jadhav was requested knowing full well I was present . For some unknown reasons , I was being disconnected again and again but I persisted and rejoined each time . I saw and heard Shri Jadhav fully and at the end of his address again I was not requested to speak though Shri Jadhav has acknowledged my presence in his address .

After that Your Lordship spoke which I saw and heard and then invited Justice Mishra to speak . At that stage realising the game plan I exited in the larger interests of the dignity of the Bar and Myself .

But what is most important is that I messaged the Secretary General on what s up at 12.49 and again at 12.53 asking why I was kept on mute and why was I at all invited . Only at 1.02 he responded saying he is instructing Registrar to look into it , by which tome it was too late and so I messaged him informing that I had exited .

The entire episode leaves much to be desired on the part of this great Institution . The whole attempt was to prevent me from addressing on behalf of the SCBA and its EC , after having invited and invitation having been accepted . This was clearly an affront to the Bar and to me personally .

While you may have done so fearing that I might say something unpleasant ,let me tell you exactly what I was to say which I had written down ,

" My Lord the Chief Justice , May I have permission to say few words on behalf of the SCBA and the EC on the retirement of Justice Arun Mishra ?"

And upon your permission , I was to say ,

" On behalf of the SCBA , the EC and Myself , I wish you Justice Mishra happiness and bliss in remainder of your long life which by all accounts will be as fruitful and rewarding as it has been . May I pray to Lord Mahabaleshwar to bless you with strength to introspect and stir up your Conscience ."

This was to be my message .

I must confess , the Supreme Court has come to such levels where the Judges are afraid of the Bar . Please do remember , Judges come and go but we the Bar remain constant . We are the real strength of this great Institution because we are permanent .

I must say , I am personally deeply saddened by this events and will never again participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till my term is over in December .

Yours Sincerely ,

Dushyant Dave ,

President , SCBA .

Sept 2nd ,2020 .

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