The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over the lawyer appearing for gangster and Samajwadi Party leader Atiq Ahmad seeking adjournment in a case, which was urgently listed after mentioning it before Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud.
Appearing before the Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Bela M. Trivedi, the Counsel appearing for Atiq submitted that the matter be adjourned in view of the fact that he would be filing some crucial documents and photographs pertinent to the case.
Though notice was not issued in the plea, Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj was present before the Court on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh to provide assistance.
Justice Rastogi, who was puzzled at the development, asked Atiq’s Counsel why he did not want to argue today? The judge said that the files were sent to his office at 11:30 at night.
The Counsel replied that he also came to know about the same at 9:30 pm. Till then, he was not aware of this as the status showed March 24.
Justice Rastogi said that he was sitting in his office at around 12 or 12:15 in the night, when a truck came with the files. Stating that he could not retain his staff till 12 o’clock, the judge said he received these files himself as the matter had been mentioned before the CJI.
He asked the lawyer as to why he was burdening the Apex Court when he had no urgency.
Justice Rastogi said he would mention in the order that the matter was listed on an urgent mentioning made by the petitioner’s Counsel before the Chief Justice of India. However today, when the matter came on board, the petitioner showed some inability to argue. The matter has been listed after one week.
The Apex Court further rejected the intervention application filed by the complainant, noting that the Additional Solicitor General was already appearing and was capable of ‘taking care’ of the matter.
Atiq Ahmad, who is currently lodged in a Gujarat jail, had moved the Supreme Court against the Uttar Pradesh Police seeking his transfer to a UP jail in connection with the murder case of Umesh Pal, a witness in the murder case of Raju Pal.
Raju Pal was a sitting Member of the Legislative Assembly, who was shot dead on February 24 outside his residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj. Atiq was one of the accused in the Umesh Pal murder case. He told the Apex Court that he might be killed in a fake encounter during transfer to UP.
(Case Title: Atiq Ahmad vs Union of India and Ors)