Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Dushyant Dave on Wednesday wrote a letter to CJI SA Bobde saying that he was prevented from speaking at Justice Arun Mishra's farewell.
In the letter to CJI Bobde, SCBA President Dushyant Dave has said that he will not participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till the end of his term in December this year. As per the letter, Dave was invited to the farewell ceremony of Justice Mishra by the concerned Registrar via Whatsapp.
He claimed that he joined the ceremony and was able to see and hear all the proceedings clearly, but was kept on mute and was not allowed to bid farewell. The SCBA President further said that after realising the "game plan" he exited the ceremony in the larger interests of the dignity of the Bar and of himself.
Earlier, Justice Arun Mishra had turned down Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) invite for a farewell function to be organised ahead of his retirement on September 2. Justice Mishra said his conscience doesn't permit him to participate in any farewell function, due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In his letter to the President of SCBA, Justice Mishra said: "I am grateful for your kind invitation for inviting me to the farewell function proposed on the eve of my retirement." "I have always considered the Bar as the mother of the judiciary, and it would have been a great pleasure to attend the said function. However, taking into consideration the severe situation and sufferings the world over on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, my conscience does not permit me to participate in any farewell function," he said. Justice Mishra "assured" that as and when the situation normalizes, he will "certainly visit the Bar and pay my respect."
Read the Full Letter Here
Honble Shri Sharad Bobde,
The Chief Justice of India,
The Supreme Court of India,
New Delh .
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 to me 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.
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.
Dushyant Dave, President, SCBA