After 25 years, amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar urges SC to relieve him from sealing case; speaks of 'pulls and pressure'

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New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) Former solicitor general and senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, who is assisting the apex court as an amicus curiae for the last 25 years in the matter related to the sealing of unauthorised constructions in Delhi, on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to relieve him of duty in the case.

Kumar told a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde that he has been assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the case since 1995 and he should be discharged now as there are “so many pulls and pressure”. He, however, did not elaborate.

“We will discharge you if you will give us a good substitute,” said the bench, also comprising justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

Kumar told the bench that senior lawyer Anitha Shenoy and advocate A D N Rao are already assisting the top court as amicus curiae in the matter.

When the bench asked Rao about it, he said that the main matter pertaining to the validity of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 and subsequent legislations is still pending.

“The main matter has not been heard for the last eight years,” Kumar said, adding, “In 1995, I was appointed as amicus curiae in this matter”.

“Please discharge me from this case,” Kumar said.

“Mr Ranjit Kumar, you are likely to go into Guinness Book of World Records,” the bench told Kumar in a lighter vein.

Kumar said he has been assisting the top court in other matters including the one which relates to the administration of Jagannath temple in Puri.

“Your assistance is very valuable in this matter,” the bench said, adding that two benches of the top court had already declined his similar prayer earlier.

The bench said it would hear this issue after two weeks.

The top court had earlier ordered the restoration of its 2006 monitoring committee to identify and seal unauthorised structures in Delhi.

The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up on March 24, 2006, by the court. PTI ABA MNL SJK ABA RT RT