The Supreme Court on Thursday was witness to a heated courtroom exchange between Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Supreme Court Bar Association president senior advocate Vikas Singh over allotment of land for lawyers’ chambers.
Chief Justice Chandrachud, usually unflappable, asked Mr. Singh to not raise his voice at the Bench, and finally told him to leave the courtroom.
Mr. Singh pressed on, saying the court got the nearby Appu Ghar because of a petition filed by lawyers. Lawyers were only given one block and construction was yet to begin. He said he had been trying to get the case listed for the past six months.
Chief Justice Chandrachud said the judges were not sitting idle and were battling with a large case load. The CJI said the matter would belisted on April 17, but not as the first item on the case list for that day.
At this point, Mr. Singh said if the matter was not listed he would “have to escalate and take it to Your Lordships’ residence… I don’t want the Bar to be taken like this”.
“Do not threaten the Chief Justice. Is this the way to behave? Please sit down. It will not be listed like this. Please leave my court. I will not be cowed down by you,” Chief Justice Chandrachud shot back.
The Chief Justice said he had not allowed lawyers to browbeat him in the 22 years of his judicial career
“I will not be browbeaten in the final two years of my career,” Chief Justice Chandrachud said.
Later, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Neeraj Kishan Kaul expressed their anguish and apologised to the Chief Justice on behalf of the Bar.