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‘Misconceived’: SC Dismisses Plea Attempting to Prevent Justice DY Chandrachud from Taking Oath as Next CJI

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Justice DY Chandrachud Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: November 2, 2022 at 20:27 IST

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition on Wednesday that attempted to prevent Justice DY Chandrachud from taking the oath of office as the next Chief Justice of India.

Mursalin Asijith Shaikh’s plea was heard by a court that included Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justice Ravindra Bhat, and Justice Bela M Trivedi.

“We believe the entire petition is misconceived,” the panel stated.

The petition, which was not on the cause-list for today, was mentioned by the petitioner’s attorney for urgent listing this morning. The attorney recommended that the oath taking ceremony be posted tomorrow, November 9, 2022.

The plea will therefore be heard today at 12.45 p.m., according to CJI UU Lalit.

The petition was filed in response to a representation filed before the President of India by one Mr. Rashid Khan Pathan against Justice Chandrachud.

The complaint went viral on social media and WhatsApp groups, prompting the Bar Council of India and several other bar bodies to release public comments strongly rejecting and dismissing the charges.

The petitioner’s lawyer objected to CJI Lalit hearing the case since he had proposed Justice Chandrachud as the successor.

“We’re simply concerned with whether you’ve made out your case or not,” CJI Lalit stated.

When a senior attorney appeared in a COVID vaccine case, Justice Chandrachud’s bench authorised tagging, but when a junior advocate appeared in a comparable matter, no tagging was allowed.

The counsel also claimed that Justice Chandrachud’s bench heard a special leave petition resulting from a Bombay High Court ruling in which his son appeared as counsel.

“The BCI stated that the learned judge was unaware that his son was present in court. It can’t be because the order was annexed,” he consented.

At this point, CJI Lalit requested that the counsel present proof that the aforementioned order was annexed to the SLP.

“Show us that the order was in the paper book?” CJI demanded.

After struggling for some time to locate the annexure, the counsel requested that the matter be posted tomorrow.

“You stated you were prepared, and that’s why we opted to hear,” CJI said of the counsel’s behaviour.

“Whatever you want to say, you argue now,” the CJI said to the attorney as he repeated his request to adjourn the session.

“If you have anything substantive to say, we are happy to hear it,” the CJI said again.

Because the counsel could not make any additional arguments, the bench dismissed the petition.