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HC Joint Registrar recuses from hearing Jethmalani`s suit

Last Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 15:16

New Delhi: Citing personal reasons, a Joint Registrar of the Delhi High Court today recused from hearing former Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani`s plea against his expulsion from the party by the BJP Parliamentary Board in May this year.

In his suit for damage of Rs 50 lakh from the BJP Parliamentary Board members, except former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and present PM Candidate Narendra Modi, Jethmalani sought the court to declare the Board`s decision as "null and void".

Joint Registrar (JR) Girish Kathpalia recused himself from hearing the matter, saying "because of my good relations with some of them (Parliamentary Board members), I cannot hear this matter. It is a matter of my own discipline."

However, Jethmalani`s counsel Ashok Arora requested the JR to hear the matter as his client does not have any objection if he entertains the plea.
To his submission, the JR said, "It would have been my privilege to hear the case but in my view, it is a matter of adherence to the ethics and also a matter of principles."

He has now referred the matter to Registrar General (original side) to assign the suit to another JR on Monday.

Jethmalani`s counsel said, "The party does not have any rule under which a member can be expelled and despite non existence of any rule his client was expelled from the party."
Jethmalani in his suit also challenged the show cause notice issued to him on November 26, 2012 by the party, saying it was an "attempt to damage the plaintiff`s (Jethmalani) reputation".

The senior lawyer-cum-politician was sacked from the party in May this year after he openly criticised some of the Board members including Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.

First Published: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 15:16
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