"Justice cannot be purchased like this", a furious Supreme Court said on Wednesday while coming down heavily on VVIP chopper scam accused Gautam Khaitan in a case related to the black money law.
The top court, hearing whether the 2016 black money law could be allowed to operate with retrospective effect from July 2015 to charge offenders, took umbrage at Gautam Khaitan for seeking four weeks-time to make his stand clear.
Gautam Khaitan has sought time to respond to the Centre's appeal against the Delhi High Court order which had said that the 2016 black money law cannot be allowed to operate with retrospective effect from July 2015.
In May this year, the top court stayed the high court's May 16 order and had said it would hear the matter.
"What is your effort, we understand that. We are averse to it. Do not speak. We are furious. This is not the way. You want to avoid the bench. Justice cannot be delayed like this," a bench of justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah told the lawyer appearing for Gautam Khaitan.
"Do not do this non-sense. Justice cannot be purchased like this," the bench said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that an important "question of law" is involved in the case.
After the bench said it would hear the matter on September 17, Gautam Khaitan's counsel said, "We want to file our reply (to Centre''s plea). Give us four weeks-time to file reply".
The contention by Gautam Khaitan's counsel irked the bench which said, "No. Not this way. We deprecate this kind of work. This is not the way to behave in the court. What is happening in this court? Not this way. It should not have happened in the open court. You are doing something very objectionable."
The bench further said, "You are lawyers and you should protect the law. The way you have conducted yourself is not proper."
However, Gautam Khaitan's counsel apologised to the bench and said, "I was only requesting that give me whatever time the court feel to file a reply."
The bench asked the counsel to file their response by September 17 and posted the matter for hearing on September 18.
During the hearing, the bench also observed that the high court's order appears to be improper.