A group of SC advocates have urged the Supreme Court Bar Association to issue a statement protesting the refusal of the Supreme Court to grant urgent hearing to the bail plea moved by Senior Advocate and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday.
"The Founders of the Constitution could never have imagined that the Supreme Court could deny urgent and immediate listing upon mentioning of a matter relating to the most senior member of the bar with 40 years of experience, 35 years out of which he has been a Senior Advocate", said the statement signed by nearly 140 lawyers, including Senior Advocate Chander Uday Singh, Jaideep Gupta, Harin P Raval, Siddharth Luthra, Jayant Bhushan, Pallav Shishodia, R Basant, Meenakshi Arora, Sanjay Hegde, Rajeev Dhavan etc.
The statement said that the lawyers were "disappointed that even a hearing was denied to him, when in cases of protecting personal liberty the Hon'ble Supreme Court has been very proactive".
"The denial of urgent listing in a matter of anticipatory bail of a senior member of the bar leads us to conclude that rule of law and democracy are in peril", said the statement.
Two rounds of mentioning were made by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal before Justice Ramana on Wednesday - one in the morning and another at 2 PM - for urgent hearing of the petition.
Though Sibal submitted that CBI had issued look out notice for Chidambaram and could arrest him anytime, Justice Ramana maintained that out of turn hearing cannot be given to the petition unless it is listed as per proper procedure.
Since CJI Ranjan Gogoi and the second senior judge Justice Bobde were in the Constitution Bench hearing the Ayodhya matter, the mentioning was made before Justice Ramana, the next available senior judge.
Justice Ramana said that only the CJI could pass orders regarding listing of the case and forwarded the file to the office of CJI.
Later, the SC registry informed Chidambaram's lawyers that the case is listed on Friday.
He was arrested by the central agency from his residence at Jor Bagh, Delhi and was taken to the CBI Head Quarters on Wednesday night around 9.30 PM, after a dramatic press conference held by him at the Congress office in national capital an hour ago.
The allegation is that while being the Finance Minister in 2007, Chidambaram had given approval for about Rs.305 crores Foreign Direct Investment by INX by taking reciprocal benefits from the media house through the companies associated with his son Karti Chidambaram.