Justice Reghupathy case:SC nod proceedings against advocate

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Paving the way for proceedingagainst a lawyer who allegedly tried to influence a MadrasHigh Court judge by taking former Telecom Minister A Raja''sname, the Supreme Court today vacated its stay and asked BarCouncil of India (BCI) to decide the complaint against him.

"We vacate the interim order of December 15, 2010, andpermit BCI to take further action in terms of the directiongiven by the High Court. BCI shall take immediate step on thecomplaint without being influenced by anything," a benchcomprising justices D K Jain and H L Dattu said.

The apex court had stayed the Madras High Court orderasking the BCI to initiate disciplinary action againstadvocate R K Chandramohan, who was the Chairman of Bar Councilof Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The High Court had on December 7 suspended Chandramohanfrom chairmanship of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherryfor allegedly attempting to influence Justice R Regupathy in acase by taking the name of Raja.

Appearing for advocate Chandramohan, senior counselMukul Rohatgi contended the High Court does not have the powerto direct the suspension of the membership of an advocate,which is granted under a statute.

But the bench was not convinced by his arguments and said"we are not inclined to interfere. The Bar council can decidewithout being influenced by anybody."

"Prima facie, we are not inclined to accept yourcontention that the High Court cannot pass such order," thebench said.

It also expressed displeasure that BCI was notrepresented before it in the case despite being issued anotice.

Rohatgi submitted Chandramohan was not officiating as theChairman of the state Bar council in view of the comingelection of the lawyer''s body and handed over the charge tothe Advocate General of Tamil Nadu.

Justice Reghupati had alleged that Chandramohan hadentered his chamber and pleaded that the case of a father anda son, accused in a marks scandal case in Puducherry, foranticipatory bail be considered favourably as they were"family friends" of Raja.

The lawyer then handed over his mobile phone to thejudge, saying the "union minister is on the line to havea talk with me", the judge had revealed in his letter of July7, 2009, to the then Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan.

"I discouraged such conduct of Mr. Chandramohan andtold him that the case would be disposed of in accordance withlaw, if listed before me," Justice Reghupati had said in hisletter of July 7, 2009 to Justice Balakrishnan.

Justice Reghupati, who has since retired, had in hisletter, complained about Chandramohan''s "outburst anduncontrollable" behaviour.

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