Madras High Court suspends lawyer close to A Raja

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 19:51

Chennai: In further embarrassment to former
Telecom Minister A Raja, the Madras High Court on Tuesday suspended
from the bar a top lawyer who was allegedly involved in an
attempt to influence a judge taking the name of the minister.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice F.M.Ibrahim
Khalifulla and Justice M.M.Sundaresh, said the status of R K
Chandramohan, a member and subsequently as Chairman of the Bar
Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondichery, shall stand suspended
forthwith.
He should not be permitted to function as such
pending disciplinary action by the Bar Council of India, the
bench said.

Disposing of a petition by a lawyer, the Bench appended a
portion of a letter written by a former judge of the court
Justice S Reghupati, who had reported that Chandramohan had
entered his chamber last year and pleaded that the case of a
father and a son, accused in a marks scandal case in
Puducherry, for anticipatory bail be considered favourably as
they were "family friends of a Union Minister by name Raja".

The lawyer handed over his mobile phone to the judge
saying that the "union minister is on the line to have a talk
with me".

"I discouraged such conduct of Mr. Chandramohan and told
him that the case would be disposed of in accordance with law,
if listed before me," Justice Reghupati had said in his letter
of July 7, 2009 to the then Chief Justice of India.

Justice Reghupati, who has since retired, had in his
letter, complained about the Chandramohan`s "outburst and
uncontrollable" behaviour.
Earlier, the judge had in the open court last year alleged
that a Union Minister, through a lawyer, attempted to speak to
him on telephone seeking favours in a case being investigated
by CBI posted the matter to another judge. But he had not not
named the minister.

In his letter to the CJI, Justice Reghupati had observed
that “a counsel, who made an attempt to exert influence on
the court by using the name of a Cabinet minister, cannot be
allowed to succeed in snatching an order in his favour by
advancing threat".

The issue became a raging controversy that the then CJI
had told the media that the judge had sent a report to him
making it clear that no no union minister spoke to him
directly.

Justice Reghupati made those remarks addressing
Chandramohan, who was appearing in connection with an
anticipatory bail plea by S Kirub Shridhar, a third year
student in a private medical college in Puducherry, and his
doctor-father Krishnamoorthy.

The bail pleas were moved by Chandramohan on behalf of
the two who had been booked by the CBI for allegedly using the
services of a Pondicherry University official and a middleman
to inflate marks to get a medical seat at the time of
admission.

Justice Reghupati, in his letter to the CJI, had observed
that Chandramohan made a plea to him that the court should
call for the case diary and hear the case with reference to
the material collected during the course of investigation.
"I have impressed upon the representing counsel by
explicating that a like direction could be given to the
prosecution only in the event of a judge satisfying that such
course is inevitable and absolutely necessary in a given
situation and that on mere demands and as a matter of routine
such exercise cannot be undertaken.

"At that time Mr. Chandramohan stood up and made a
similar demand and when I emphatically declined to accede to
his adamant demand, he vociferously remarked that the Court is
always taking sides with the prosecution and not not accepting
the submissions made by the counsel for the accused while
giving importance to the Prosecutor.

"On such pointless remark, I said that the counsel had
engaged to argue on his behalf has made his submission and he
is not not supposed to pass such slanderous and derogatory
remarks," Justice Reghupati had said in his letter.

The lawyer, who had filed the petition, moved the Court
for debarring Chandramohan from continuing as Bar Council
Chairman for his alleged misconduct and order the Bar Council
of India to take disciplinary action against him.

The Bench also said Justice Reghupathi`s letter shall be
under the custody of the Registrar General in a sealed cover
which, however, shall be part of the case.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 19:51

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