The contempt case of an advocate, Mohit Chaudhary, who had made comments about a judgement came up for hearing before the Supreme Court again on April 17. Hearing the case was the bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
On April 7, the bench had issued a contempt notice on the lawyer who, while mentioning a case before the bench, stated that the case was deleted in a “manipulative way”. The bench did not take this comment lightly. Although the lawyer tendered an apology by way of an affidavit, the court did not accept it then and listed the case for April 10.
On April 10, the bench passed the following order: “Affidavit filed in court today is taken on record. Post for further consideration on April 17. The Registry is directed to attach to this case, the files of Contempt Petition(C) No. 785/2015 and SLP(C) No.31520/2013.”
On April 17, senior advocate KK Venugopal submitted: “During the course of practice, lawyers make mistakes. He apologized in the given affidavit. He has withdrawn all the allegations against the registry. He is extremely regretful and he has never been in such a position before.”
To that the Chief Justice said: “Everyone abuses us. Why don’t you ever stand up for us? Have you ever stood up for us? While people keep trashing us, you don’t stand up for us.”
Venugopal said that recently he saw an article by advocate Gopal Shankar Narayan, “defending your Lordship case by case.”
The CJI said: “He is a young lawyer. Why don’t seniors stand by us? This institution must be brought down. That is what you want,” said the CJI.
Venugopal said: “What more can we do today?”
The CJI said: “He came into this matter when previous counsel declined to do what he has done. He came with clear objectives.”
The CJI discussed with other judges of the bench and ordered as follows: “Order reserved. We will give a compassionate order.”
—By India Legal Bureau