The Supreme Court on Tuesday took serious exception to a lawyer questioning the “fairness” of a commission set up to inquire into the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey, on the ground that its chairman had relatives in the BJP.
“We will not cast aspersions on a former judge of this court on the basis of news report,” the apex court told the lawyer.
“Why can’t he be fair? There are judges whose father is a Member of Parliament… There are judges who have relatives in Parliament… They are all not fair judges?… (Is) belonging to party an illegal act,” Chief Justice S A Bobde, heading a two-judge bench, asked as the petitioner, advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay, cited news reports to claim that the commission’s chairman, former SC judge Justice B S Chauhan, had relatives in the BJP.
“Why are you doing this again and again? Why are you not allowing the work to go on?” the CJI asked Upadhyay as soon as his plea came up for hearing. Last month, Upadhyay had raised objections over the inclusion of former Uttar Pradesh DGP K L Gupta in the commission but the SC had rejected it.
When the lawyer referred to the news reports about the relatives, the CJI asked, “Is any of them involved in the inquiry?”
Intervening, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “None of the relatives is even remotely involved. This is irresponsibly drafted.”
“This should be dismissed without reply… You are making all kinds of allegations against a former judge of his court… Throughout he had his relatives… but no problem. Why are you raising it now,” the CJI asked.
As Upadhyay sought to reiterate his charges, the court asked again, “Is any of his relatives connected with the incident or the inquiry?”
Mehta urged the court to stop the counsel, saying he is making “derogatory” statements.
Upadhyay then referred to the encounter killing of another history-sheeter in Uttar Pradesh and said the state “had become a land of encounters”.
“You have said enough irrelevant things… There will be thousands of crimes committed in every state. What has it got to do with this commission?” the bench said, reserving its order.
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