Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Justice Arun Mishra heads bench that decides on his own recusal

Judge says he will not recuse himself from land acquisition act case

By The Telegraph and PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 23.10.19, 1:34 PM
  • Updated 23.10.19, 10:59 PM
  • a min read
  •  
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra decided that he will not recuse himself from hearing a matter on the Land Acquisition Act, which means the judge has passed an order about himself. (Shutterstock)

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra decided that he will not recuse himself from hearing a matter on the Land Acquisition Act, which means the judge has passed an order about himself.

A five-judge Constitution bench pronounced the order and said: "I am not recusing from hearing this matter".

Various farmers' association and individuals had objected to Justice Mishra hearing the matter on the grounds that he had already expressed his mind on the same matter in a judgment pronounced by the apex court in February last year.

The other members of the Constitution bench were Justices Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat. 

The court had on October 16 said the attempts to seek Justice MIshra's recusal was nothing but a "bench hunting" ploy which, if allowed, "would destroy the institution".

"This is nothing but an attempt of bench hunting and you want a person of your liking to be in the bench. If we allow your request and accept your view for recusal of judge, it will be destroying the institution. This is a serious issue and history will judge it that even senior counsel were involved in this attempt," Justice Mishra had told senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for a farmers' association.

Divan had contended that a judge must avoid any reasonable apprehension of bias, otherwise it would erode public confidence. The advocate said the prayer for recusal was for upholding the integrity of the institution and not even remotely concerned with bench hunting. "There are global principles that have to be applied here. We are only drawing attention to it," the advocate said.

Without naming anybody, Justice Mishra had said "these forces which are trying to compel this court to act in a particular way, are forces which are compelling me to continue. Otherwise, I would have recused".