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In an impassioned press release, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has urged Senior Advocate Indira Jaising to withdraw her statements against judges of the Supreme Court, subsequent to the Court’s March 20 judgment.
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit had passed a judgment introducing safeguards to prevent misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 against officers who deal with the complaints under the Act in their official capacity. The ruling was widely criticized for diluting the provisions of the Act and making it more cumbersome for the SC/ST community to report atrocities committed against them.
Three days later, Jaising took to Twitter to express her dissatisfaction with the judgement. She tweeted thus:
In response to this, BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra urged Jaising to withdraw her tweet. The press release states,
“After going through the Tweet and the statement issued by a senior, member of the Bar, I am really at a loss to understand as to where are we heading towards? Day by day we are degrading the dignity & sanctity of our highest and holiest Institution…
…We may still expect statements to be made by novices, by the ones who are ignorant, but when it comes from members of the Bar, who are learned and who are the hands and tongue of litigants, it is unexpected and extremely painful.”
Stating that lawyers who criticize judges do so on account of “vested interest or in order to gain cheap popularity”, Mishra goes on to say,
“Our judiciary is the only Institution on which the people have blind faith and trust and we must safeguard it at all costs. No Judge acts with any feeling of casteism or with any other extraneous consideration.”
The release ends with an appeal to Jaising.
“Indira Jaising is a person who is known to me. She is a seasoned and learned Senior Advocate and I would urge her to withdraw the statements issued by her against our Hon’ble Judges. Our fearless and bold Judges deserve the appraisal from the member of Bar and people of the country. We should not try to politicize the Institution.”
Bar & Bench has reached out to Jaising for comment. Meanwhile, she has responded to Mishra’s note on Twitter.
Read the press release: