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SC dismisses petition seeking recusal of CJI in detention camps case, filed by ‘activist’ who signed mercy petition for Yakub Memon

When asked by CJI Gogoi, how did he find the observations despite not being in the court during the hearing, Mander replied that he read them on the Social Media websites.

The Supreme Court today rejected the petition filed by an obsessive Ishrat Jahan apologist and who had signed mercy petition for Yakub Memon, Harsh Mander, seeking recusal of the Chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi from hearing a case related to the condition of detention camps and deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam. Refusing to recuse the CJI from hearing the Assam detention case, the court instead struck off Harsh Mander’s name from the petitioner’s place and appointed Prashant Bhushan as Amicus Curiae.

Harsh Mander, in his recusal petition, filed through his advocated Prashant Bhushan had contended that the comments and the oral observations made by CJI has raised serious apprehension in his mind that the CJI may be biased towards the repatriation of the illegal immigrants/foreigners and is using the petition to ensure that the State of Assam commits mass deportation of alleged foreigners. Mander also submitted that he is no longer using the legal services of Prashant Bhushan in this case.

Mander argued in the court that the recent tensions in the state of Assam were due to the oral remarks passed by the CJI during hearing the petition. To this CJI Gogoi responded saying that the oral observations and the comments made in the court are expressions of opinions which aide the judges to reach a rational conclusion. Mander said, “I still have anxieties about the subconscious bias.” Slamming Mander, CJI Gogoi said that he should go by the written orders and not by oral observations and comments made by the judges during the hearing.

Defending the comments and oral observations made by the judges, Justice Sanjiv Khanna asserted that observations and remarks were made to ascertain the steps taken for the deportation of the foreigners. Justice Khanna stated that the court is open to change until an order is passed, the observations and comments are made to seek answers to the questions.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was representing the government said that the government opposes the recusal petition filed by Mander. He termed the petition as scandalous and called it not a recusal but a contemptuous petition.

When asked by CJI Gogoi, how did he find the observations despite not being in the court during the hearing, Mander replied that he read them on the Social Media websites. CJI said, “You see something on Social Media and based on that you are asking CJI to recuse himself?” Dismissing the petition and removing Mander’s name from the petitioner’s place, the court passed the judgement saying that it wouldn’t allow anyone to disrupt the institution.

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