Indira Jaising crosses the line, withdraws her remark, says sorry to the CJI

Senior lawyer Indira Jaising was left eating her own words after she crossed the line while arguing for an independent probe in Judge Loya’s death. The heated argument took place in the Chief Justice’s Court, between the country’s top senior lawyers, Harish Salve and Dushyant Dave, Mukul Rohatgi and Indira Jaising.

As per the exchange produced on livelaw, the argument took place when Salve, arguing for the State of Maharashtra, requested that the documents and reports relating to the case be kept confidential. Dushyant Dave, who appeared for Bombay Lawyers Association, also said he’d give the documents in sealed cover to Salve. However, Salve then sought an order from the court to restrict the media from reporting on the case. Indira Jaising, who was supporting Dave, said that this restriction would amount to gag order on the press and the publication and discussion should be allowed.

Salve argued that since this is a sensitive matter, he doesn’t want the media discussing the statements of the lawyers. To that, Dave argued even Tharoor and Chidambaram matters, which are sensitive, are also discussed in media. Justice Khanwilkar asked whether they want to discuss sub-judice matters in the media, Dave retorted saying that the Court cannot stop the nation from discussing even sub-judice matters.

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Jaising, too, came to support Dave and said,

‘I will oppose if a gag order is being issued. Two days ago in Padmaavat matter, your Lordship stayed the screening by states citing freedom of speech and expression.’

This angered Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, who reprimanded Jaising for drawing a conclusion and crossing a line. He asked her to apologise unconditionally and withdraw her statement:

“We have not passed any order to that effect. Please expressly withdraw your statement. And please do not make such comments“.

Following this, she said sorry and withdrew her statements. CJI further admonished her and she repeated:

‘I withdraw my statement’.

In the end, the court did not heed to Salve’s request.

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