A five-judge constitution bench comprising justices Arun Mishra, Indira Benarjee, Vinit Saran, MB Shah and S Ravindra Bhat on last Wednesday reserved its order on pleas seeking recusal of justice Arun Mishra who is heading the supreme court bench hearing the case on land acquisition law.
Justice Arun Mishra Made it clear that he will not succumb to pressure -tactics and the parties can not be allowed to indulge in bench hunting.
Justice Mishra said “Seeking his recusal from the bench hearing the case on Land Acquisition law was an attempt to bench-hunting.”
“As a judge we know our responsibility. We have to protect the institution not for us but for you (bar). It is not crossing propriety that you want a particular judge to head a bench.”Justice Mishra said.
Responding to observation made by the judge, senior advocates Diwan and Gopal Sankaranarayanan said that they are not indulging in bench-hunting and are also not seeking that a particular judge should head the bench but only seeking recusal of one judge on the ground that he had delivered a verdict whose correctness is to be examined by the constitution bench.
After hearing the matter for two days the bench said that it will pass order on issue of recusal on October 23 and thereafter the issue relating to Section 24(2) of Land Acquisition law will be examined.
Justice Mishra also said that it was not farmers and their association which are seeking his recusal but some powerful persons are running the campaign against him and asking the questions on his impartiality.
These persons indirectly compelled CJI to reconstitute the constitution bench.
Senior Advocate Shyam Diwan said that no body from outside provoked the parties. The issue of propriety is raised by him. A judge should not hear appeal on a judgment authored by him.
“There has been systematic attempt to undermine the institution. We know who are the persons behind it and everyone knows. They are compelling me to react like this. This is not the way I can be compelled to recuse. The way things are happening in court are shocking.” Justice Mishra said.
Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma
Former Judge Rajasthan High Court and Ex-Member of Law Commission of India
(The views expressed by the author are personal)