Justice Arun Mishra: Supreme Court turns down the plea for recusal from Land Acquisition bench

“I am not recusing from hearing this matter,” Justice Mishra said, announcing his decision to SC’s judgement.

Picture credits: Bar&Bench

The Supreme Court rejected the plea on Wednesday for the recusal of Justice Arun Mishra from hearing the cases associated with interpretation of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act.

To this judgement, Justice Mishra refused to recuse from hearing the land acquisition case despite demands by petitioners. “My conscience is clear, my integrity is clear before God, I will not budge” responded Mishra to the several questions being raised towards him for heading a bench examining his own past ruling

On October 16, the Constitution bench had reserved the orders regarding the plea.

The bench headed by Mishra has been formed to examine the correctness of two conflicting decisions of the Supreme Court regarding the 2013 Land Acquisition Act. One of these decisions was taken by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Mishra along with Justice AK Goel and Mohan M Shantanagoudar.

In February 2018, Justice Mishra had passed a majority judgment. It held that land acquisition by a government agency could not be quashed for delay on the part of land owners in accepting compensation within five years due to reasons such as lingering court cases. The verdict had conflicted with a 2014 verdict of the court on grant of compensation under Section 24 of the land acquisition law of 2013.

Justice Mishra asserted that he was not partial, slamming the comments on social media targeted towards him. He said that he will not allow the maligning of the institution.