Supreme Court lawyers’ association criticises SC judge Arun Mishra’s PM praise

Justice Arun Mishra. (File)

A day after the Bar Association of India expressed “deep concern and dismay” over Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra’s praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) also expressed “deep sense of anguish and concern” at the development on Wednesday.

“The SCBA believes that independence of the judiciary is basic structure of the Constitution and such independence (should) be preserved in letter and spirit,” the SCBA said in a statement.

The association, headed by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, also called upon judges to “not make statements in future (and) not show any proximity or closeness to the executive, including higher functionaries”.

The SCBA said such “proximity and familiarity may impact the decision-making process” of the judges and may give rise to “justifiable doubts in the minds of litigants about the outcome.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Bar Association of India president Lalit Bhasin had said, “It is a foundational obligation of judges to maintain a discreet and dignified distance from the executive branch of the government.”

Delivering the vote of thanks at the inaugural function of the International Judicial Conference on Saturday, Justice Mishra had referred to Modi as “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius, who thinks globally and acts locally”.

He had said, “India is a responsible and most friendly member of the international community under the stewardship of internationally acclaimed visionary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.”