New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) Bar Council of India (BCI) and senior advocate Dushyant Dave are headed for a showdown with the lawyers’ body today issuing a show cause notice to him over his alleged “derogatory” and “scandalous” remarks concerning the Chief Justice of India and the Collegium.
Dave, a former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president, had last night levelled certain charges against the CJI and the Collegium on a TV talkshow over the issue of the recent resignation by Karnataka High Court Justice Jayant Patel following his transfer to the Allahabad High Court.
Justice Patel was part of a division bench of the Gujarat High Court that had ordered a CBI probe into the Ishrat Jahan encounter in 2011. He had served as the acting chief justice of Gujarat High Court before being transferred to the Karnataka High Court.
Reacting to Dave’s allegations, BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said the remarks of the senior advocate had “lowered the dignity of legal fraternity and the institution”.
BCI’s stand came in for support by another lawyers’ body SCBA which also condemned the statement of its former President Dushyant Dave, terming his remarks as “scurrilous and baseless personal attack” on the head of the institution.
“He (Dave) has been in the habit of targetting successive Chief Justices of India in the recent past without any basis”, the SCBA statement said.
Dave, on other hand, defended his statements on the TV show, asserting that whatever he had said last night was the “truth” and “it is a matter of concern for all in legal system and the nation that such conduct of judges go unchecked”.
He said that although “I haven’t still got the (BCI) notice and not read it” but “I will happily contest this notice to prove that I was right and BCI is wrong”.
Dave said what worried him as a citizen and a lawyer was that “the executive is bound to exploit the situation especially when the Supreme Court today has to deal with highly political matters of far-reaching consequence”.
The BCI, the apex body of lawyers, in a press statement said the council has taken “serious notice” of Dave’s statement for his “derogatory comments and reckless remarks against the Chief Justice of India and the Collegium” and would take further action after the reply of the senior advocate.
“The Council has decided to issue show cause notice to Dave for such gross misconduct and has asked him to file his reply within four weeks. The council will take further actions after receipt of his reply to the notice”, it said.
The BCI said lawyers may have differences of opinion on the decisions of the Collegium. “Some other lawyers have also given their opinion either in favour of the decision or against it on the issue of transfer of Justice Jayant Patel.
“The council also, if decided, may join hands with Gujarat High Court Bar Association in the legal proceedings.
But the Institution is supreme for the country and the people have full faith in the system and advocates are supposed to protect the institution and maintain its dignity and decorum,” it said in the statement.
The BCI also accused Dave of trying to “scandalise the institution” by issuing “irresponsible, baseless and derogatory remarks against the reputation of the head of Indian judiciary”.
“Criticising a decision in a healthy manner is always permissible, but attempt to scandalise the institution for grinding one’s own axe is a serious misconduct which the council cannot tolerate,” the council said.
Justice Patel, who was the second senior-most judge in the Karnataka Hight Court had recently resigned after being transferred to Allahabad High Court. He was tipped to become the chief justice of Karnataka high court after incumbent S N Mukherjee retires on October 9.
As carried in I on 29/9/2017