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The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking recusal of CJI Ranjan Gogoi in the matter drawing attention towards the plight of inmates in the detention camps in Assam.

The bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta, Sanjiv Khanna further directed the registry to strike out the name of the petitioner, Harsh Mander from the matter and directed the Supreme Courts legal services Committee to fight the case in place of Mander.

During the course of hearing, Mander was present in the courtroom and said that his counsel advocate Prashant Bhushan was no longer fighting this case and instead of him he will be arguing in place of him.

To which the bench said that Mander was free to argue.

Mandar replied: “I had two kinds of plea, the first one was that the foreigners should not be kept in jails and the second was that they should not be kept for an indefinite period of time.”

The bench said: “What if we tell you that you have been set up by the state of Assam to file this application for the Chief Justice’s recusal. What was said to be a debate was thought by you as an expression of opinion. How can you form an opinion that the chief justice has already decided this matter and hence you want his recusal. Is this way you treat your chief justice. Learn to trust your judges. We will tell you that the chief secretary has set you up. You work for the betterment of the society but you do not know the intricacies of this matter. You think from the orders that there is any bias. You were not present in the court, how did you get the opinion?”

Mander replied: “I read it on Live Law and Hindustan Times.”

CJI said: “you are relying on the quotes of the social media and want the recusal of the chief justice. We are not recusing. We will not allow anyone to damage this institution. All that we would like to say is that the inability or disability of a judge should be perceived by a judge not by the litigant. We dismiss the recusal application.”

The bench appointed advocate prashant bhushan as amicus curiae.

—India Legal Bureau

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