NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not bulldoze the government's authority by passing judicial orders for allotment of land for lawyers chambers.
A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices S K Kaul and P S Narasimha, asked the lawyers to trust the court to rather take up the matter with the government on administrative side.
Attorney General R Venkataramani submitted that flexibility of the administrative side would certainly be helpful to resolve the matter.
The apex court was hearing a plea by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to convert a land measuring 1.33 acres allotted to the top court for the construction of lawyers’ chambers.
"Lawyers are part of us, but can we use our own judicial powers to safeguard our own people? How could court pass an order to take over the land for allotment of chambers," the bench asked senior advocate and SCBA president Vikas Singh.
The counsel asked the court to issue notice on the plea, in order to start a discussion on the subject.
He also referred to a building of Foreign Correspondents Club, close to the court, which has received eviction orders after allotment of another land.
The SCBA chief said the apex court is surrounded by roads on all sides, there is no way to grow except within the campus, and futuristic planning is required for the court campus.
The bench, however, asked, "How could we take over all the buildings judicially? We don't doubt the requirement of the lawyers, but under Article 32 of the Constitution, how can it take over these buildings."
“We must trust the court to take it up on the administrative side with the government. A signal must not go to the government that we can bulldoze their authority by passing judicial orders,” the bench added.
Singh cited the steps taken for expansion of the Delhi High Court.
The bench, however, pointed out it was done administratively.
Singh, for his part, insisted that the bar and other stakeholders will not be a part of administrative consultation.
The bench then said for the e-courts project, the government allotted Rs 7,000 crore because they said that we need it, and the government engages with the top court on the administrative side and the lawyers’ chambers issue can be put to it.
Singh, who recently had a heated exchange with the CJI on listing of the case, assured the court, "We will not do anything to undermine the majesty of the institution irrespective of whatever happens in this case.”
The court reserved its order after also hearing counsel for the Bar Council of India and Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA).