The Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) expressed concern on Wednesday over the alleged contempt threat made by Justice Arun Mishra to senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan during a recent hearing and requested the judge to be "little bit more patient in dealing with lawyers".
The resolution of SCAORA has been issued in the backdrop of an alleged exchange of words on Tuesday between Justice Mishra, who is heading a 5-judge constitution bench hearing land acquisition cases, and Sankaranarayanan after the judge had asked him not to repeat his arguments.
After the judge had warned the senior advocate of contempt, Sankaranarayanan had stormed out of the courtroom.
Taking note of the incident, SCAORA has said, "The EC of SCAORA expresses its deep concern over the threat of contempt proceedings and conviction by Justice Arun Mishra to Gopal Sankaranarayanan, while he was performing his professional duties."
"Several members of the Bar have repeatedly been raising such grievance about the unwanted treatment and passing personal remarks by Justice Mishra," said the SCAORA resolution, adding that the duty to maintain court's dignity and decorum was upon both lawyers and judges.
"We request Justice Mishra to be little bit more patient in dealing with lawyers," it said.
Similarly, senior advocate and former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Vikas Singh has written a letter to his successor and senior lawyer Rakesh Kumar Khanna to call an urgent meeting to "condemn" the incident.
Expressing distress over the incident, Singh said both lawyers and judges are equal stakeholders in the functioning of the apex court and their relationship should be based upon mutual trust and respect.
He wrote in his letter that terrorising lawyers with contempt and not allowing them to argue "undermines the very fundamentals of justice delivery system" and asked the Bar body to pass a resolution condemning the incident.
"Terrorizing the lawyers under the threat of contempt and not allowing them to argue under that threat undermines the very fundamentals of the justice delivery system," Singh said in his letter.