The President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Senior Advocate Dr. Adish C Aggarwala has written to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud stating that he is shocked to read “an open letter” to the CJI by a senior member of the Bar.

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave had written an open letter to the CJI yesterday, alleging that Benches hearing sensitive cases are being changed without following established practices and the seniority of judges. Dave had claimed in his letter that he was not given an appointment to meet the CJI personally, despite seeking an appointment.

The SCBA President has alleged in the letter that open letters are written to attract publicity and to attract clients with meritless cases, who want to put pressure on Courts to decide cases in a certain manner. He has also said in his letter that the fact that Courts are now giving equal importance to junior as well as senior members of the bar, has not gone down well with some Senior Advocates.

In his letter to the CJI, the SCBA President has said that of late, there is a growing tendency to write open letters to sitting Chief Justices of India to exert undue pressure on the administration of justice. "Such letters are written demonstratively with respect to a few selected cases and at the behest of some influential litigants", the letter says.

"Undignified behaviour with Hon’ble Judges by some Counsel a few days before their retirement has become a common phenomenon and is aimed at attracting publicity and creating an element of uneasiness among the judges, and to attract some select clientele who's brief lacks anything on merit", the Senior Advocate has alleged in his letter.

He has written that owing to this misbehaviour by some senior counsel, the Bar suffers disgrace and the harmony between the Bar and the Bench gets disturbed. "The ill behaving lawyers still stand to benefit because they attract clients who want to put pressure on the courts to decide cases in a certain manner", he adds.

He has said that the Administration cannot waste its precious time entertaining every letter making wild and imaginary accusations. "The assignment of cases is not open to question on the judicial or the administrative side and, as a corollary, it is neither required to be by way of a speaking order nor is it required to be justified by responding to any person calling it into question. The writing of such letters is therefore malicious, and calculated to embarrass the Administration. The time has come where one should put an end to the practice of writing of such letters. This will subserve the interest of the Bar and will strengthen the Administration of Justice. It is essential to curb every attempt to scandalize the court mechanisms with insinuations and falsehood, aimed at mischievously shaking the confidence of the public in our courts", the SCBA President has said.

"The Bar also requests Your Lordship to ignore these attempts which are nothing but self-serving attacks on the independence of the judiciary", the letter says, adding that the Bar has full faith and reposes full confidence in the neutrality and unprecedented administrative skill of the Chief Justice and other companion Judges.

The Senior Advocate says in the letter that the conduct of hearings in the Supreme Court by all Judges boosts the confidence of every member of the Bar because the treatment being given to a young lawyer is the same which is accorded to a Senior Advocate. "This has encouraged litigants to not be dependent upon only senior members of the Bar. Those who are unable to afford unrealistically high fees are also enthusiastically seeking justice and are being given a fair hearing, and relief as per the merit of their case. Perhaps the said treatment at par of younger members of the Bar has not gone down well with a few senior lawyers who have started making concerted efforts to overawe this system. I must assure Your Lordship that the entire Bar, except a few individuals, are fully satisfied with your leadership, both on the judicial side as well as on the administrative side", the letter says.

"I express my solidarity with the journey Your Lordship has commenced in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and to request Your Lordship to ignore such malicious, motivated and dubious attempts. If the Chief Justice of India succumbs to such pressure tactics, it would sound a death knell to the independence of this great institution at the hands of certain vested interests", Senior Advocate Aggarwala has written to the CJI.

Click here to read/download letter