CJI refused to recuse from hearing Assam Detention Centre Case

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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed seeking recusal of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi from hearing the Assam Detention Centres case. The petition was filed by petitioner Harsh Mander.

However, CJI Gogoi has refused to recuse himself from hearing. “Recusal is destruction of the institution. We are not recusing. We will not allow anybody to browbeat this institution,” said CJI Gogoi.

Meanwhile, the bench of the Apex Court has also removed the name of the petitioner from the record and appointed Legal Services authority as the petitioner in the case.

Notably, CJI Gogoi is shepherding the NRC process and the move to recusal of CJI is seen as an attempt to disrupt the whole NRC process which is going to be published in July 31, 2019.

The highlights of the hearing is as follows:-

  • Mr. Harsh Mander submitted before the Court that he was constrained to file the instant Writ Petition as he saw that the people who are being detained in detention centres indefinitely and their condition is very bad.
  • The Court was very angry at Mr. Mander and told him that by filing an application for recusing the Chief Justice from this matter is like doubting the integrity of judiciary.
  • The Application was not numbered but still the Court accepted the application since Mr. Mander filed the application himself and is a “layman” in terms of judicial procedure.
  • It also fell from the Court that the Chief Secretary of Assam has prodded Mr. Mander to file this application as it had directed the Chief Secretary of Assam to respond to certain queries.
  • The Court was inclined to issue contempt notice to the Chief Secretary of Assam but chose not to take any action against Mr. Mander since he is doing good work on the ground and he does not understand the complexities of court procedures.
  • It also fell from the Court that many oral observations are made during court proceedings but what matters is the final order of the Court. Mr. Mander filed the instant application only due to some reports that are being circulated in social media platforms.
  • Mr. Tushar Mehta, SG submitted before the Court that the Chief Secretary of Assam has nothing to do with the present application. Further, the application is scandalous and defamatory.
  • Finally, the Court dismissed the recusal application filed by Mr. Mander.
  • The Court directed the Supreme Court Registry to strike out Mr. Mander’s name as the Petitioner in the main matter and replace it with Supreme Court Legal Services Authority.
  • Mr. Prashant Bhushan has been appointed as the Amicus Curiae in the matter.
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