AIADMK Legal advisor, judge in war of words

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Chennai, Dec 13: AIADMK Legal Advisor and Rajya Sabha MP N Jothi today entered into a heated argument with a judge in Madras High Court and went to the extent of calling him by name, forcing the judge to retire to his chamber abruptly.

The incident took place in the open court hall during arguments on a petition filed by Mr Jothi, seeking modification of an order granting him anticipatory bail in a case relating to causing wrongful loss to the state exchequer.

When the modification petition filed by Mr Jothi came up for hearing in which he had made several allegations against the Judge, Mr Justice Sudhanthiram asked him whether the court wanted to review or modify its earlier order.

As Mr Jothi insisted that the order should be modified, the Judge, who looked visibly annoyed, said no judge, including him, could modify the earlier order, granting him bail on the condition that he should deposit an amount of Rs ten lakh.

Mr Jothi wanted this condition to be deleted.

''No judge in this High Court can review or modify my order. If the petitioner wanted any modifications, let him move the Supreme Court,'' the judge said in an angry retort and started dictating the order to dispose the petition.

Mr Jothi sought permission to allow him to argue the case, but the judge refused saying he had already gone through his petition.

At this stage, Mr Jothi raising his voice in the open court, called the judge by name ''Justice Sudanthiram'' and sought permission to argue the case.

Taken aback by this, the judge also raised his voice and said he was reserving the orders on the petition before retiring to his chamber in a huff.

Meanwhile, Mr Jothi met Chief Justice A P Shah and apprised him about the developments that took place in the court hall and sought his intervention.

The Chief Justice asked the judge not to pronounce any orders on the modification petition and directed Mr Jothi to represent his case in his chambers tomorrow morning.

The matter relates to a case registered by the CB-CID police, alleging that Mr Jothi had caused wrongful loss of over Rs ten lakh to the state exchequer by travelling by air to New Delhi and occupying a suite in the Tamil Nadu House for months on the pretext of attending the Cauvery Water Tribunal proceedings. Apprehending arrest in the case, Mr Jothi filed a petition seeking anticipatory bail and the judge had granted bail with a condition that he should deposit Rs 10,27,504 before the Principal Sessions Court.

The judge said Mr Jothi should execute a bond for Rs 25,000 with one surety for a like sum before the Investigating Agency.

In his modifiction petition, Mr Jothi sought deletion of the condition to deposit a sum of Rs 10,27,504 and allow him to execute the surety of Rs 25,000 before the Principal Sessions Court.

In his petition, Mr Jothi also questioned the Judge as to how he could impose a condition to deposit Rs ten lakh and said the issue of bail or anticipatory bail could not be a matter of barter and that the question whether to grant anticipatory bail or not depended not on payment of money.

UNI

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