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Just Reghupathi row:SC moved for contempt action against Raja

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against former Telecom Minister A Raja and advocate R K Chandramohan.



New Delhi: A petition was filed in the
Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking initiation of contempt proceedings
against former Telecom Minister A Raja and advocate R K
Chandramohan for allegedly trying to influence the then Madras
High Court judge Justice S Reghupathi in a criminal case.

The petition filed by two apex court advocates Sanjay
Gautam and Sateesh Galla through counsel N Rajaraman claimed
the contempt proceedings ought to be initiated against the duo
as their action "amounts to flagrant interference with the
administration of justice."

Justice Reghupathi, who has since retired, had alleged
that Chandramohan asked him to favourably consider the
anticipatory bail application of a father and son duo in a
criminal following a request from Raja who was at that time
Union Telecom Minister.

Chandramohan also purportedly handed over his mobile
phone to the judge saying the Minister wanted to speak, which
Justice Reghupathi claimed he declined and instead shot off a
letter to the then Madras High Court Chief Justice and present
apex court judge H L Gokhale about the incident.

The petition quoted the correspondence exchanged and the
media statement issued by sitting Justice Gokhale on December
14 last openly contradicting former Chief Justice K G
Balakrishnan`s claim that there was no mention of Raja`s name
in the letter addressed by Justice Reghupathi.

Justice Gokhale`s statement totally contradicted Justice
Balakrishnan`s claim that there was no mention of any Union
Minister in the report sent by Justice Gokhale, then High
Court Chief Justice, on Justice S Reghupathi episode.

Reacting to Balakrishnan`claim, Justice Gokhale had
said "the former CJI has stated in his press conference that
in my letter I did not mention the name of any Union Minister
having talked to Justice Reghupathi over phone to influence
him.

"With respect to this statement, I may point out that
Justice Reghupathi`s letter was already with him and in the
second paragraph thereof justice Reghupathi had specifically
mentioned the name of Raja.

"I had no personal knowledge about the incident and
observations in my reply wherein are in conformity with the
contents of Justice Reghupathi`s," Justice Gokhale said.

Media reports had alleged that Justice Balakrishan had
suppressed that letter which had purportedly alleged that Raja
had tried to influence Justice Reghupathi.

The Madras High Court had on December 7 suspended
Chandramohan from the bar and chairmanship of the Bar Council
of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for his alleged action but the
Supreme Court had on December 15 stayed the direction.

PTI

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