In a resolution passed on Wednesday, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) of India strongly condemned senior Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra's praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an international conference last week.
The SCBA said Mishra's remarks "reflect poorly on the independence of the judiciary," reports The Hindu.
Justice Mishra had hailed the "versatile genius" of Modi to "think globally and act locally" while delivering the vote of thanks at the inaugural session of International Judges Conference on Saturday.
Indian Prime Minister Modi was present on the dais along with Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde.
Judges from the Supreme Court, high courts, retired judges and judges from over 20 nations who had come to participate in the conference were in attendance at the time.
Justice Mishra hailed Mr. Modi as an "internationally acclaimed visionary".
"The SCBA believes that any such statement reflects poorly on the independence of the judiciary and so calls upon the Honourable Judges not to make any statements in future nor show any proximity or closeness to the Executive, including Higher Functionaries," an SCBA statement said.
SCBA President Dushyant Dave said: "Believes that the independence of judiciary is the basic structure of the Constitution of India and that such independence be preserved in letter and spirit".
Statement of Bar Association of India
The Bar Association of India (BAI) issued a formal statement to convey its concern and dismay over the "effusive terms of praise and adulation" used by Justice Mishra for Modi.
The statement said Justice Mishra's words went "beyond the terms of formal courtesy extended during a vote of thanks address".
"Such an act serves to dilute the perception of impartiality and independence and diminishes the confidence of general public as judges of Supreme Court are expected to decide cases against the executive branch while upholding constitutional principles and the Rule of Law as paramount," the statement further said.