SC bar body censures judge for praising PM

The Supreme Court Bar Association condemned Justice Arun Mishra’s praise for PM Narendra Modi at a recent conference and called on apex court judges to maintain judicial independence by refraining from making such statements or show close proximity to the political executive.

Mishra, who retires on September 2, had described Modi as an “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius who thinks globally and acts locally”.

Saying it “expresses its strong reservations of the statement and condemns it strongly,” the SCBA resolution added, “SCBA believes any such statement reflects poorly on independence of judiciary and so calls upon the judges not to make statements in future nor show proximity or closeness to the executive, including higher functionaries. SCBA believes such proximity and familiarity may impact decision-making process by judges and may give rise to justifiable doubts in minds of litigants about the outcome.

The resolution was passed by circulation and not through debate in the executive committee. It was signed by president Dushyant Dave, vice-president Kailash Vasdev, joint secretary Rohit Pandey and treasurer Meenesh Dubey.

Though the resolution was agreed to by 14 of the 21 members, secretary Ashok Arora stuck a discordant note saying such an important issue should have been debated in the executive committee meeting and not adopted through circulation.

By another resolution, the SCBA expressed concern over the law and order situation in Delhi. Taking note of the “failure” of the law and order machinery, SCBA resolved to take “appropriate proceedings in this regard before the court to get suitable orders to bring immediate normalcy in Delhi and hold authorities responsible for the failure accountable”.

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