Supreme Court Justice Arun Mishra on Thursday apologised for his conduct in court after a group of senior advocates urged him to be patient while dealing with lawyers, Live Law reported. On Tuesday, Mishra had threatened Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan with contempt while hearing a land-acquisition case involving Indore Development Authority.
“If anyone feels hurt, an animal or a tree even, am ready to apologise,” Mishra told lawyers Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, and Dushyant Dave, among others. “I know you’re not seeking an apology but I do apologise to any living creature if I had caused any harm. Gopal Sankaranarayanan is half of our age. Even to those much younger, I apologise a hundred times.”
Mishra claimed that he had been unnecessarily targeted by some people and the media, and added that he “may have said something” since he was under immense pressure, reported Bar and Bench.
“Many of us been in this Bar for over 40 years and know the tradition of this Bar,” Sibal said, according to Bar and Bench. “We have learnt our traditions from our seniors and if there is an environment of discourtesy, distinguished judges who reach the bench also learn from there.”
Former attorney general and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said many lawyers were afraid and it affects those who assist them. “We will come and go, judges will come and go, but the cordiality should remain,” he added.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he agreed with the lawyers, but added that the incident had not been reported correctly.
Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India released a statement in support of Mishra, saying he had been unfairly criticised. “A few members have been targeting the particular judge (Justice Arun Mishra), frequently criticising his every action/order, “ it said. “How far we are correct and justified? Who will control the Bar?”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association had passed a resolution expressing concern about the episode.