CJI Rebukes SCBA President for Electoral Bonds Letter

Mainstream
20-Mar-2024
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In a sharp rebuke, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud criticized Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President and Senior Advocate Adish Aggarwala for his recent letter seeking a suo motu review of the Electoral Bonds judgment.

During the hearing of the electoral bonds case before a five-judge bench, CJI Chandrachud expressed his displeasure, suggesting that Aggarwala's letter appeared to be motivated by a desire for publicity.

"Apart from being a senior counsel, you are president of SCBA. You have written a letter asking me to invoke my suo motu powers. These are all publicity-related, we will not get into this. Do not make me say anything more. Mr. Aggarwala, please keep it at that. Otherwise, I may have to say something more which may be a little distasteful," the CJI remarked firmly.

The bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, was convened to address the matter of disclosing details of electoral bonds, including their numbers.

Previously, on February 15, the Supreme Court had annulled the Electoral Bonds Scheme, instructing the State Bank of India (SBI) to furnish information on political parties receiving contributions through electoral bonds from April 12, 2019, to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Aggarwala's recent correspondence, first addressed to the President of India on March 12, urged a presidential reference under Article 143 of the Constitution, disputing the correctness of the Supreme Court's decision in the electoral bonds case. Subsequently, the SCBA's executive committee distanced itself from the letter.

Undeterred, Aggarwala sent another missive on March 14 directly to the CJI, this time in his personal capacity, petitioning for a suo motu review of the electoral bonds judgment.

The CJI's reproach underscores the judiciary's commitment to maintaining decorum and upholding the integrity of legal proceedings, particularly in matters of national significance.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University