Justice Arun Mishra recently retired from Supreme Court after having a decent time there. However his name and integrity has been called into question by various segments including lawyers, jurists, retired judges and politicians.
But how was he actually in the court?
I’ll share my own first hand experience with Justice Mishra.
I have recently appeared before Justice Arun Mishra’s bench. It was a Public Interest Litigation filed by Sh Savio Rotragues (Founder and Editor-in-Chief of GoaChronicle) and me. We moved this petition before Supreme Court for a CBI inquiry into the political murder of BJP MLA Debendra Nath Ray of West Bengal. We moved this petition because of the fact that both Savio & I felt that our democracy can’t sustain if political murders like this become normal as West Bengal is already topping the list of Political Murders in India and Mamta Bennerjee’s regime have led to severe dent in democracy through more and more bloodshed. So to protect the democracy and the rights of people at large, we moved this petition with the hope that a Centre led investigation in this case can bring out the complete truth.
Fortunately, our matter was listed before the bench of Justice Arun Mishra.
It was the first and the last time I have appeared before Justice Mishra. He had a very strict image in the legal fraternity and we young lawyers had this image of him being a very strict man sitting on an iron throne. I was very furious due to his image and my relatively short practice, however I was prepared for the arguments. Since it’s pandemic, the hearing was scheduled through video conferencing and we were given link on time.
When my turn finally came, I got disconnected. Since I was unable to re-join on time, I requested my AOR to take a Passover which Justice Mishra graciously granted.
After few minutes, I could finally join however I had to wait quiet longer because the ongoing case of Contempt of Court against Prashant Bhushan was listed before his bench that day only. That matter took so much time and the arguments made on behalf of Prashant Bhushan took around 3 hours. During that argument, I listened silently. It was a very fierce argument from Bhushan’s side, however Justice Mishra was relatively calm throughout despite of the fact that the case is about Contempt of Court.
After hearing various other matters, my matter finally came up again. This time, my matter was heard and Justice Mishra accepted my case and issued notice to the Bengal Government as if he have gone through my case in detail. I saw a sense of immense gratitude in him towards justice. He was so calm even after listening to a case where the officers of the court were disrespectful to the court itself.
Justice Arun Mishra has been a legend and a father figure for advocates like me who comes from non-legal background as he doesn’t discriminate you on the basis of your name. To understand the personality of Justice Mishra, one have to go through the personal experiences of AORs and Advocates whose cases don’t get reported in media and don’t have prejudice against anyone rather than trusting the voices of those who work with a particular motive to malign the credibility of the institution.
Justice Mishra always followed the motto of Supreme Court:
यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः॥
Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com