Senior advocate and Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave on Wednesday sent an angry missive to the Chief Justice, voicing his distress at being allegedly deprived of an opportunity to speak at the farewell ceremony of Justice Arun Mishra.
Dave wrote to Chief Justice SA Bobde expressing "strong disappointment and condemnation" and said he will never again participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till his term as Supreme Court Bar Association president is over in December.
‘‘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 event and will never again participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till my term is over in December," Dave said.
He alleged that he got a link at 10.06 am to join the Ceremonial Bench of the Chief Justice of India. He had responded immediately, accepting the invite which was acknowledged by the Registrar at 10.18am. He even joined through the link around 12.20 pm and it was confirmed by the team that the video and audio were perfect.
Dave writes that after the AG stopped speaking, he thought that he will be asked to do so; instead, for some unknown reasons, he was disconnected again and again. Nonetheless, he was persistent and re-joined each time.
After an address by the CJI, Justice Arun Mishra, the outgoing judge, was invited 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 WhatsApp at 12.49 pm and again at 12.53 pm asking why I was kept on mute and why was I at all invited.
"Only at 1.02 pm, he responded saying he is instructing Registrar to look into it, by which time 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 Executive Committee, after having invited and invitation having been accepted. This was clearly an affront to the Bar and to me personally," he said.