The Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud, who is the next in line to become Chief Justice of India, has been the target of attempts by “certain persons with vested interests” to damage his reputation.

The BCI slammed a letter that circulated that made accusations against Justice Chandrachud and claimed that it was written by one Mr. Rashid Khan Pathan. The BCI stated that the letter “is nothing but a scurrilous and malicious attempt to interfere with the functioning of Judiciary and the administration of Justice.”

The letter’s timing was questioned since it came out soon after the Union Law Minister asked the Chief Justice of India, UU Lalit, to nominate his replacement. The BCI highlighted that during a time when Justice Chandrachud is likely to be appointed to the position of Chief Justice of India, a complaint supposedly filed by RK Pathan, who claims to be the President of the “Supreme Court and High Court Litigant Association,” became viral online.

“Such growing tendency is really a matter of serious concern for the country and it has to be checked anyhow.” the Council added.

The Bar Council emphasised that Mr. Pathan and the other two individuals who had filed the complaint against Justice Chandrachud had been found guilty by the Supreme Court in a Suo Motu Contempt Petition for filing false and unfounded complaints against Supreme Court judges and were given a sentence of three months’ simple imprisonment. [In April 2020, the Supreme Court had sentenced RK Pathan and the other two individuals for contempt of court over their letters against Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran].

As a result of Pathan’s slanderous and scandalous accusations against a High Court judge who is now sitting, the Bombay High Court also issued a contempt notice against him.

The complainant’s initial claim was that Justice Chandrachud had made decisions in a matter that somehow related to his son’s appearance in proceedings before the High Court of Bombay. The Council said that, based on its knowledge, the parties before the Supreme Court were different from the parties before the High Court, and that the Supreme Court’s complaint was not about the merits of the case but rather about the High Court’s delay in considering the petition. Taking notice of this, the Supreme Court asked the High Court judge to make a decision about the petition or the request to lift the stay; no decision regarding the merits of the case was made.

Both of these rulings, according to the Council, do not demonstrate that Justice Chandrachud was aware that his son had participated in the case before the High Court.

Additionally, the Supreme Court frequently issues similar directives requesting that the High Court expedite hearings.

The second accusation was that Justice Chandrachud ignored established legal precedent when he rejected a plea that contested the limitations imposed on those who had not received the Covid Vaccine.

The Council responded to this claim by stating that “such rulings are granted by the Courts in execution of judicial responsibilities as a judge on merits of the case and such a complaint based on such unsubstantiated and false charges is plainly disgraceful.

A further statement in the press release read, “Our Judges are not supposed to come forward to defend themselves against such scandalous and baseless attacks, but the Bar is here to protect the Judiciary in order to enable it to function independently, without any fear or favour, so that our Supreme Court and High Courts could safeguard our Constitution and the democracy.”

Additionally, the Council asked the dignitaries to whom the post was written to disregard it and dissuade “such anti-institutional persons.”

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