Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on Friday demanded an apology from his successor P Sathasivam if he did indeed criticise the former in the terms attributed to him in a section of the media.
Kabir, who left office on July 18, had given an interim order in favour of Jayprakash Associates in a case in which it had been directed to pay Rs 100 crore as fine by the Himachal Pradesh high court.
A bench comprising Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi while hearing the same case on Tuesday had purportedly said the relief order should not have been passed.
Speaking to Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's show Devil’s Advocate, Kabir said he was annoyed and embarrassed when he first read the media report quoting Sathasivam’s remarks against his order as they amounted to his “indictment”.
“I have been wrongly indicted by the CJI,” he said.
But he added he had spoken to Sathasivam, who denied making the observations.
“I spoke to Chief Justice and he said, I had never said this. I also asked Justice Gogoi, who is a partner on this bench, he said certainly not, we have not said this at all,” Kabir said.
He added he had requested the two judges to put the denial in writing.
The former CJI said there was no “bad blood” between him and Sathasivam. But when asked if he had made enemies accidentally, he replied in the affirmative.
He also denied that the judgment striking down the common entrance test for admission to all medical colleges in the country had leaked before he pronounced it.
When pointed out that an advocate’s online article had given details of the judgment, Kabir said: “It was simply speculation. Even I did not know that Justice AR Dave was going to dissent. Whether it is a coincidence or a leak, I don’t know, but not from here.”
He even disagreed with Dave’s contention that there wasn’t enough time to discuss the verdict. “The draft of the final judgment was given to him a week before it was to be pronounced,” he said.