New Delhi: Scores of top court lawyers on Friday urged the Supreme Court Bar Association to pass a resolution against the High Court's refusal to urgently hear Congress leader P Chidambaram's petition in the INX Media case.
The group of lawyers in a letter stated that they were deeply concerned at the "manner in which matter related to life and liberty of citizens are being dealt with by the judiciary", and urged the association to take up the matter with Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
"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, Mr. P Chidambaram," the letter read.
The group also highlighted that Chidambaram has more than four decades of experience as a member of the Bar. The signatories included senior advocates such as Harin P Raval, Jaideep Gupta, Siddharth Luthra and Rajeev Dhavan.
The former finance minister P Chidambaram was arrested on Wednesday amid high drama at his house in the national capital. The lawyers had moved the apex court to request an urgent listing of a plea for protection from arrest. The judicature had asked them to wait despite two attempts by the lawyers and finally agreed to hear the plea on Friday (August 23). A special CBI court on Thursday remanded the Congress leader to the agency's custody till August 26.
"If the normal procedure of urgent listing is not followed, the edifice of our constitutional values would be slowly dismantled," the letter read. "The denial of urgent listing in a matter of anticipatory bail of a senior member of the Bar leads us to conclude that the rule of law and democracy are in peril."
The advocates also stated in the letter: "We expect an even-handed approach of the honourable court without, in any manner commenting on the merits of the SLP [Special Leave Petition] filed by Mr. Chidambaram, we are disappointed that even a hearing was denied to him when in cases of protecting personal liberties, the honourable Supreme Court has been very proactive."