The Bar Council of India on Saturday criticised attempts by “some people with vested interests” to malign the reputation of Supreme Court judge DY Chandrachud, who is next in line to be the chief justice, Live Law reported.
The council made the statement in response to a letter written by a man named Rashid Khan Pathan to President Droupadi Murmu, making a number of allegations against Justice Chandrachud.
Pathan, who claims to be the president of an organisation named Supreme Court and High Court Litigant Association, wrote the letter after the Centre asked current Chief Justice of India UU Lalit to name his successor, according to ANI.
Pathan alleged that Justice Chandrachud had passed some orders in a case related to proceedings before the Bombay High Court, although the judge’s son was among the lawyers of the litigants. He also alleged that the judge disregarded settled law while dismissing a petition questioning restrictions on citizens who had not taken the coronavirus vaccine.
The Bar Council of India, commenting on the first allegation, said that as per its information, the litigants before the Supreme Court were different from those before the High Court.
The council also noted that Justice Chandrachud did not deal with the case on merits, but only told the High Court to either consider the petition or to consider an application for vacating a stay.
The Bar Council said that the Supreme Court’s directions did not show that Justice Chandrachud was aware that his son had appeared before the High Court in a related case.
On the second allegation, the council said that such orders “are passed by the Courts in discharge of judicial duties as a judge on merits of the case”. It described Pathan’s allegations as baseless and frivolous.
The council also said that the country as well as the legal fraternity has complete faith in Justice Chandrachud.
“This long letter [by Pathan] is nothing but a device to gain cheap popularity,” the council said. “This man has also defamed the litigants-mass of our country. This is also very sad. Such persons deserve strong penal and disciplinary action.”
The council also said that disciplinary action would be taken against Pathan after proper investigation.