A dramatic scene was witnessed today in the Supreme Court when a group of wailing women brought the proceedings to a halt for about half an hour and made Justice J Chelameswar recuse from the case. The women, mostly middle-aged, stormed the Court number 2 and started crying and speaking loudly before a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul. Just before their entry, the bench, while hearing a contempt petition, had ordered vacating of flats in the Modern Co-operative Group Housing Society at Sector-15 of Rohini in northwest Delhi. The bench had ordered that the counsel for the alleged contemnors have undertaken to hand over possession of the within a week to purge themselves of the contempt. It had categorically directed that the society flats which were in dispute have to be vacated within a week and no further time will be given to them and had listed the matter for hearing after a week. Minutes after the order was passed, several women entered the court room, crying and wailing and saying that they do not have anywhere else to go and have been staying in the society for decades. Some women also said they had taken loan from banks and will be financially burdened if they were forced to move out. As chaos prevailed in the court room, the two judges talked among themselves and left the dais at 12.05 pm for nearly 30 minutes, as security personnel asked the women to leave. After the court resumed proceedings at 12.35 pm, the bench put the developments on record and said that Justice Chelameswar will recuse from the matter in further proceedings. "After the order is passed and S D Singh, counsel for the petitioner and Colin Gonsalves and Vikas Singh, senior counsel for the alleged contemnors, left the Court. Some of the alleged contemnors mostly ladies rushed to the Court wailing loudly and saying something in Hindi which one of us (Justice J. Chelameswar) could not understand. "In the circumstances, one of us (Justice J Chelameswar) recuses from this matter.
This matter be listed before a Bench of which one of us (Justice J Chelameswar) is not a member," the bench said. After coming out of the court, some women said that 14 families will be ruined if they were thrown out of the housing society. "Many are old, aged couples who will lose their homes. We will urge the court not to direct vacating of the flats," they said.
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