The Supreme Court today struck off the name of noted human rights and social activist, Harsh Mander, as litigant from his case on the condition of inmates in detention centres in Assam and replaced him with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority, with advocate Prashant Bhushan as amicus curiae.
Earlier today, Harsh Mander had filed an application seeking the recusal of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi from further hearing his PIL.
As CJI Gogoi refused to recuse himself, a three-judge bench headed by the and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna dismissed the application filed by Mander.
Exchange in courtroom
Mander, who argued in person after discharging his counsel Prashant Bhushan, contended that he believed, based on oral observations of the court, that his case on inhumane treatment of detainees had become one about deportation.
“As the hearings proceeded, my petition seeking the release of detained persons was converted into more people being arrested. Thousands of people were being forcefully deported,” Mander said.
At this point, CJI Gogoi interjected: “What do you have to say if we say you have been set up by the Chief Secretary of Assam?”
“That it is not true,” Mander responded
Background of the case
Mander, through advocate Prashant Bhushan had filed a public interest petition on the deteriorating conditions of the detention centres in Assam where illegal immigrants who were declared foreigners by the Foreigners’ Tribunals were kept.
Last month, the Court has summoned the Chief Secretary of Assam over its dissatisfaction with the data provided on the issue by the Assam government.