Mumbai: Key Indian equity indices, which opened at fresh levels on Friday, slipped during the mid-afternoon trade session with heavy selling pressure in almost all the sectoral indices.
According to market observers, investors panicked on account of an unprecedented event in which four senior judges of the Supreme Court on Friday met the media to complain that the administration of the country's top court was not in order.
At one point, the Sensex shed almost 160 points to touch a low of 34,342.16 points.
At 1 p.m., the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE -- which opened at a fresh high of 34,578.99 points -- fell by 24.18 points or 0.07 per cent to trade at 34,479.31 points.
The BSE market breadth turned bearish as 1,693 stocks declined as compared to 1,075 advances.
Around the same time, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged lower by 17.70 points or 0.17 per cent to trade at 10,633.50 points.
"Markets have slipped from the days high as conflict of interest for democracy have made investors lessen the exposure of markets and selling was witnessed in all pockets. For the first time in the history in India, four senior judges of the SC have gone public against the Chief Justice, telling the media that the administration of the top court 'has not been in order'," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
"Expect markets to be back in green post the movement and continue the up trend," he added.
During early morning trade, the Nifty50 had opened at a fresh level of 10,682.55 points and touched a new intra-day high of 10,690.25 points.
The Sensex too scaled a fresh intra-day high of 34,638.42 points.
On Thursday, the equity indices closed with modest gains with healthy buying in IT, Teck and realty stocks.
The Nifty50 edged higher by 19 points or 0.18 per cent to close at 10,651.20 points, while the Sensex at 34,503.49 points -- up 70.42 points or 0.20 per cent.