Justice Arun Mishra. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Supreme Court's Justice Arun Mishra on Friday indirectly commented on the criticism unleashed against him from various quarters, including bar associations, for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the International Judicial Conference here last week.

During a hearing of a sealing matter pertaining to a play school near Khan Market in Lutyens' Delhi, Justice Mishra told senior advocate A.M. Singhvi: "I can use some good words for you also but then other people will start blaming me." Justice Mishra made this remark in a lighter vein, but it assumes significance against the backdrop of controversy over his praise of the PM at a recent event.

Singhvi, representing the management of the sealed play school, contended it was located opposite Khan Market and there were no serious violations of norms, which could lead to its sealing. Justice Mishra replied: "Several elite people live around this place. Do you also live around there?" Singhvi replied that he had left Lutyens' Delhi around 30 years back, and maybe it has become an abusive word, but Khan Market is a nice place. "Lot of good coffee shops are there. I would like to be called Khan Market elite," replied Singhvi in a lighter vein and added that he had seen judges shopping in the market.

Justice Mishra replied that there is no need to drag judges into controversy, and comments on somebody should be taken in right spirit.

The bench dismissed the plea of the play school seeking to set aside the sealing orders. "Sorry, we are not with you," it said.

Meanwhile, hearing pollution matters, Justice Mishra pulled up the Centre for delay in installing smog towers in the city. The Centre's counsel told the bench that it will take 35 days to level the surface to install smog towers. "Are you joking?.... we will not tolerate delay," said Justice Mishra and directed the counsel to file a progress report before March 6.

The top court also directed authorities to work together on developing a comprehensive framework to segregate municipal solid waste.

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