A five-judge constitution bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan took strong exception to the tactics employed by the 'shouting brigade' and said, "Lawyers are called the ministers of justice. They are also referred to as officers of the court. But unfortunately, a small group of lawyers raise their voice. They must understand absolutely clearly that raising their voice is not going to be tolerated. Raising the voice means either the lawyer is incompetent to present the case or he is inadequately prepared with the case."
The trigger for the tough talk was provided by former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium, who expressed concern over the non-decorous manner in which arguments were being advanced by senior advocates and lawyers, seriously harming the judiciary's reputation. The CJI referred to arguments advanced by senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Dushaynt Dave and Rajeev Dhavan in the Ayodhya case on Tuesday and the manner in which Dhavan argued on Wednesday for Delhi government in its turf war with the Centre.
After Subramanium's comments, the CJI said, "We are compelled to connect it (expression of anguish) to yesterday's incident (when the bench expressed dissatisfaction with Dhavan's tone and tenor of arguments in the Delhi case). Behaviour of the senior counsel was atrocious yesterday. Day before yesterday (in Ayodhya case), it was even more atrocious. "The senior counsel (Dhavan) who argued on Wednesday (in Delhi case) contradicted the other counsel for Delhi government Indira Jaising. Same client had many counsel. Different and contradictory arguments were advanced by the counsel for the same party. How does the court discern what is the stand of the party? This is not the tradition of the bar. If the bar does not regulate, we will be compelled to regulate."
Jaising said she didn't agree with Dhavan's stand and said that she stood by her arguments despite Dhavan's comment.
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