Will punish lawyer if he is at fault: SC

New Delhi, The Supreme Court today said it will punish an advocate who has alleged “manipulation” by the apex court registry in listing a matter before a particular bench, if he is found at fault .

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said it would not shy away from fixing the apex court registry if it was found that it did something wrong, but they would not allow people to “misbehave” in the court.

“You have said that the registry has manipulated and all but the bench was the same. From where all these allegations have come? If there is something wrong with the registry, we will fix it but if you are wrong, we will fix you also.

“We do not want people misbehaving in the court,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said.

Advocate Mohit Chaudhary had on April 7 mentioned the matter before a bench headed by the CJI and alleged that it was directed to be listed on that day itself but in a “manipulated way” it was listed before a special bench.

During the hearing today, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves submitted that the lawyer has tendered an unconditional apology, so the court should not take any harsh step in the matter.

Justice Khehar said, “People have started shouting at us in the court. It is the first situation before us and we are going to stop it.

“We will stop it. If registry is at fault, we will punish it but if he is at fault, he will be punished”.

When lawyers urged the court to forgive the counsel, the CJI said, “In my career as a judge, I have never felt that I have the right to grant mercy. Everything has to be done as per the law.

“I will not be a judge if I have mercy. Mercy is for the kings to give and not for the judges,” he said.

When the lawyers said that the remorse shown by the counsel was genuine, the bench said it would deal with the matter as per the law.

The court then posted the matter for hearing to April 17.

The lawyer had on April 7 told the bench that the matter was to be listed before a regular bench but the registry had listed it before a special bench for which there was no need.

Chaudhary was appearing for a firm in a slum redevelopment case and his matter was listed on April 7 before a special bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazeer.

The matter was on April 6 listed for regular hearing but it was later listed in the supplementary list before the special bench headed by Justice Mishra as there was judicial order of March 31 to list the matter before the bench which had heard it.