Updated January 3rd, 2024 at 15:42 IST

'Lower your pitch first...': Why did CJI Chandrachud snubbed lawyer in courtroom

Justice Chandrachud interrupted the lawyer, insisting on a lower tone. “One second, lower your voice. You're arguing before the first court of the SC."

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
Justice Chandrachud interrupted the lawyer, insisting on a lower tone. “One second, lower your voice. You're arguing before the first court of the Supreme Court of India; | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud today expressed his displeasure during a heated exchange with a lawyer over the listing of a petition. The CJI cautioned the advocate, emphasizing the need for a respectful and measured approach in the courtroom. The CJI asked the lawyer to “lower pitch" and that he had not tolerated such a raising of the pitch in his career and won't allow it further. 

Lower your voice: CJI DY Chandrachud 

Visibly upset, Justice Chandrachud interrupted the lawyer, insisting on a lower tone. “One second, lower your voice. You're arguing before the first court of the Supreme Court of India; lower your pitch, otherwise, I will have you removed from the Court,” said the CJI. He further questioned the advocate's usual practices, asking, “Where do you normally appear? Is this the way you shout at judges every time?”

CJI stresses on maintaining decorum 

The Chief Justice stressed the importance of maintaining decorum, stating, “Please lower your pitch first. If you think you can browbeat us by raising your voice, you're mistaken. It has not happened in 23 years; it will not happen in the last year of my career.”

This incident follows previous instances where Justice Chandrachud advocated for courtroom decorum. 

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On a different occasion, he took strong exception to a lawyer talking on a mobile phone inside his courtroom, declaring, "Is this a market where you are talking on the phone? Confiscate his mobile phone." 

In March of last year, the Chief Justice reportedly raised his voice at senior advocate Vikas Singh, urging the court to prioritize a case related to land for Supreme Court lawyers.

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Apologies soon after the frustration 

The advocate involved in Wednesday’s exchange promptly apologized, and the proceedings continued in a more courteous manner.

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Published January 3rd, 2024 at 15:42 IST