The Supreme Court Bar Association has dropped its case against prominent lawyers over an apology to the Chief Justice of India.

A day after former Attorney General of India K K Venugopal intervened, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) decided to drop its case against senior attorneys Kapil Sibal and Neeraj Kishan Kaul for apologising on behalf of the SCBA to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

“Keeping in mind the letter of Shri K K Venugopal, addressed to the undersigned, and in the larger interest of the Bar, the Executive Committee of SCBA has authorised the undersigned to write a letter to the Bar regarding the Executive Committee’s decision to recall the Notice for the General Body Meeting,” the letter, signed by SCBA president Vikas Singh, stated.

The SCBA also alleged that the planned meeting was cancelled because CJI Chandrachud convened a special bench to hear the case concerning the allotment of Supreme Court land for the construction of additional lawyers’ quarters.

On March 2, Singh requested an urgent hearing on the matter, which resulted in CJI Chandrachud instructing him not to raise his voice and to leave the court. Sibal and Kaul, who later came before the CJI’s bench in an unrelated case, apologised to the bench.

“I apologise for what happened this morning. Please accept my apologies. No one of us should cross the Lakshman rekha. “I don’t think the bar should go beyond the bounds of civility,” Sibal had stated.

The apology caused the SCBA to issue a show-cause notice to the senior lawyers for presenting an apology on Vikas Singh’s behalf.

Another resolution submitted by the SCBA was to express sympathy with Singh in his efforts to build their chambers. On March 16, the SCBA was supposed to vote on these resolutions.

On March 14, Venugopal, who has previously served as SCBA president for three terms, wrote to Singh, demanding that both resolutions be withdrawn. Venugopal further reasoned that the apology was provided to “keep cordial ties between the bar and the bench,” and that passing such resolutions could create “factions in the bar” and forever sour the “peaceful relationship” that its members had.

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