The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Madras High Court order, suspending R.K. Chandramohan's status as member and consequently as Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry on the basis of a letter written by Justice R. Regupathi to the then High Court Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale on an alleged incident that happened in his chambers.

Acting on a special leave petition filed by Mr. Chandramohan, a Bench of Justices D.K. Jain and H.L. Dattu also stayed the direction given to the Bar Council of India to take over the complaint filed against him and to dispose of it in accordance with law.

Earlier, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the appellant said, the High Court had treated Justice Regupathi's letter as gospel truth and pronounced the judgment without even putting it on record. Once the High Court gave a finding at the preliminary stage itself, what could be the scope of an enquiry into the complaint?

Advocate Elephant G. Rajendran, on whose petitions the High Court gave the directions, justified the judgment saying the appellant had interfered in administration of justice. At this juncture, Justice Jain asked the counsel: “How would a quo warranto writ petition lie in this case? At the most, it could be a case for contempt. We are staying two directions (c) and (d).”

Further hearing is posted to the first week of January.

In his SLP, Mr. Chandramohan 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 he had been held guilty without being given an opportunity to defend himself.

Mr. Chandramohan said the High Court proceeded as if he had admitted the alleged act (that he took the name of a Union Minister before Justice Regupathi) complained against him just because he had not filed anything on merits.