The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, today lost his temper in court and ordered a lawyer to leave during heated words over the listing of a petition.
Justice Chandrachud, said reports, “shouted at the top of his voice” at senior advocate Vikas Singh, who was urging the Supreme Court to push up a case related to land for Supreme Court lawyers.
The Chief Justice, furious, snapped: “Keep quiet. Leave this court right now. You cannot cower us down!”
Vikas Singh, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was pushing for a hearing on a petition by the lawyers’ body seeking that land allotted to the Supreme Court be used for a chamber block for lawyers. Lawyers had been struggling to have the case listed for the past six months, he said.
“You can’t demand land like this. You tell us the day we are sitting idle for the whole day?” Justice Chandrachud remarked.
Mr Singh threatened to doorstep the Chief Justice. ” I am not saying that you are sitting idle for the whole day. I am only trying to get the matter listed. If it is not done, I will have to escalate and take it to your lordships’ residence. I don’t want the Bar to be taken like this,” he said.
“Don’t threaten the Chief Justice. Is this a way to behave?” Justice Chandrachud shot back.
“I am the Chief Justice. I have been here since March 29, 2000. I have been in this profession for 22 years. I have never allowed myself to be browbeaten by a member of the Bar, litigant or anyone else. I will not do that in the final two years of my career.”
The Chief Justice continued, “You will be treated as an ordinary litigant. Please don’t force my hand to do something you don’t want.”
During the sharp back-and-forth, Justice Chandrachud even asked the lawyer to not raise his voice.
Mr Singh said he “felt strongly” about the subject as lawyers had been waiting for chambers for 20 years. “Just because the bar doesn’t do anything doesn’t mean it should be taken for granted,” he said.
“Please don’t raise your voice. This is not the way to behave as the President of SCBA. You’re asking for land allotted to the Supreme Court to be given to the bar. I have made my decision. It will be taken on 17th and it will not be first on board,” said the Chief Justice.
According to a report, senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and NK Kaul later apologised to the Chief Justice on behalf of the Bar.