[dropcap]A[/dropcap]BOUT 150 senior members of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) have shot off a letter to the association’s executive body, stressing that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi be urged for urgent listing of P Chidambaram’s petition.
Reminding the press conference held by four judges of the top court wherein they claimed that “democracy is in danger” in January 2018, the senior lawyers went a step further stating that “the “rule of law and democracy is in peril” in the country.
Chidambaram’s Special Leave Petition demanding interim protection from arrest in INX Media case was not cleared by the Supreme Court registry on Wednesday. He was arrested by a CBI team soon after he reached his Jor Bagh residence after showing up at a brief media conference at Congress Headquarters last evening.
The letter by senior lawyers impresses upon SCBA to immediately pass a resolution and request CJI Ranjan Gogoi that the petition filed by former Finance Minister and senior lawyer is listed on an urgent basis.
Expressing “deep concern at the manner in which matter related to life and liberty of citizens are being dealt with by the judiciary”, the letter read: “The founders of the Constitution could never have imagined that the Supreme Court could deny urgent and immediate listing upon mentioning of a matter relating to most senior member of the Bar, Mr P Chidambaram.”
“Mr Chidambaram is a member of the Bar with more than 40 years of experience, 35 years out of which he has been senior advocate,” it said.
It added that “If normal procedure of urgent listing is not followed, the edifice of our constitutional values would be slowly dismantled. The denial of urgent listing is a matter of anticipatory bail of a senior member of the Bar leads us to conclude that the rule of law and democracy are in peril.”
As member of the Bar, the signatories of the letter maintained, “we expect an even-handed approach of the honourable court without, in any manner commenting on the merits of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Mr Chidambaram, we are disappointed that even a hearing was denied to him when in cases of protecting personal liberties, the honourable Supreme Court has been very proactive.”