Also bring on record Gokhale-Balakrishnan letters

An application to bring on record the letter written by Justice R. Regupathi, former judge, to the then Madras High Court Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale on an alleged incident that happened in his chambers involving advocate R.K. Chandramohan, has been filed in the Supreme Court.

The letter written by Justice Gokhale to the then Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, enclosing Justice Regupathi's letter, which alleged influence peddling by Mr. Chandramohan to the effect that the former Communications Minister, A. Raja, wanted to speak to him (Justice Regupathi), must also be brought on record, said the application filed by advocate Elephant G. Rajendran.

It was on Mr. Rajendran's writ petitions that the High Court suspended Mr. Chandramohan as member and consequently as Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (BCTNP). On December 15, 2010 the Supreme Court stayed the suspension and sought Mr. Rajendran's response.

Mr. Rajendran justified the High Court judgment and said the quo warranto petition was maintainable as Mr. Chandramohan was holding the statutory office as Bar Council Chairman though he might be an elected member.

“Document not proved properly”

In his special leave petition (SLP), Mr. Chandramohan had said the High Court was not justified in accepting Justice Regupathi's letter as evidence against him without following the mandatory requirements of law. He said the document was not proved as required to be proved by applying the provisions of law and that he was held guilty without being given an opportunity to defend himself.

Refuting this submission, Mr. Rajendran said Mr. Chandramohan did not file a counter affidavit in the High Court on its merits; instead he filed a counter raising a technical objection to the maintainability of the writ petitions. The judgment clearly recorded a finding “though the letter [written by Justice Regupathi] was called upon from the Registry and produced before the court, the first respondent [Mr. Chandramohan] did not evince any interest to know the contents. No steps were taken at his instance for getting a copy of the letter or its contents.”

Having failed to avail himself of the opportunity, Mr. Chandramohan could not say he was denied an opportunity, Mr. Rajendran pointed out and sought dismissal of the SLP. In this context, he sought a direction that the letters exchanged between Justices Regupathi and Gokhale and between Justices Gokhale and Balakrishnan be brought on record for adjudication of the present appeal. He also sought a direction to the High Court Registrar-General to produce the letters.

In another application, Mr. Rajendran said since the High Court found that Mr. Chandramohan had tried to influence his position to procure a favourable order for his client, he should be restrained from contesting the March 4 BCTNP election.

Further hearing will be held on January 10.

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