HC on Minister’s trail

Swati Das | Chennai
Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday issued notices to the Bar Council of India and Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to disclose the name of the Union Minister in connection with the allegation by HC judge Justice R Regupathy that the politician had tried to influence him in the Pondicherry University marksheet forgery case.

Justices FM Ibrahim Kalifulla and R Banumathi issued the notices on petitions filed by lawyer Elephant G Rajendran and stated there was a prima facie case. Rajendran had filed two petitions – one to disclose the name of the Minister, and the other to show the letter the judge had written to the Chief Justice of India on this issue.

Given the seriousness of the issue, the Bench issued the notices and sought a reply within four weeks.

On August 27, the Bench had asked the court registrar to submit a copy of the report that Justice Regupathy had sent on the alleged attempt to influence him. Rajendran had filed his petition against the State Bar Council president RK Chandramohen, seeking to know in what capacity he was still holding his post after being involved in the issue. Chandramohen had represented the accused father-son duo — Dr C Krishnamurhty and Kruba Sridhar — for their anticipatory bail and faced allegation of trying to use the Minister to influence the judge.

On June 29, when the bail hearing came up, an angry Justice Regupathy had admonished Chandramohen in the open court saying that a Union Minister had tried to influence him in the case. He threatened to complain to the Centre and the Prime Minister about the Minister.

Following the incident, Justice Regupathy had apparently sent a report to the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, which was forwarded to the CJI. Though there was pressure from all quarters, the judge refused to divulge the name of the Minister.

AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa, however, later in a statement named Union IT and Communications Minister A Raja as the Minister who had allegedly tried to influence the judge. Raja, on his part had denied his involvement and termed the whole issue as a political vendetta.