Supreme Court Indira Banerjee has revealed that attempts were made to influence her in an ongoing case related to Delhi’s Royal Plaza Hotel.
Making this extraordinary revelation in an open court hearing on Thursday, Justice Banerjee, who was recently elevated to the Supreme Court, warned that such attempts will have serious consequences. She, however, did not spell out the identity of the caller, who tried to influence her.
When Justice Banerjee asked herself to be recused in the case, senior lawyer Shyam Divan, requested her not to do so since this could then be used to force judges to recuse themselves from cases in future.
Justice Banerjee also said that some senior members of the Bar too had approached her to influence cases on the pretext of congratulating her on her elevation to the Supreme Court.
Justice Mishra wondered why those, who approached the Supreme Court judges so confidently, could not muster courage to approach the same judges when they are posted in High Courts.
Justice Banerjee’s revelation has evoked sharp reactions on social media with many demanding a thorough probe. One suer wrote, “Isn’t this a crime? Shouldn’t this be investigated? This is not just an issue of “recusal” or impropriety. But a serious criminal offence!”
Another user wrote, “Why is the judge hiding the name of the person who tried to influence her. Why act coy. Influence=Bribe. Bribe giver is culpable. Chief Justice must compel her reveal the name in open court. Person seeking to influence can be held in contempt.”
The hearing in the Royal Plaza Hotel has concluded and the bench has reserved its order. Justice Banerjee was recently appointed to the Supreme Court along with Justices Vineet Saran and KM Joseph.