He withdraws petition in Karnataka High Court
G. Bhavani Singh, who was on Monday removed from the post of Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on Wednesday moved the Karnataka High Court challenging his ouster, but withdrew the petition when it came up for hearing.
Sajan Poovayya, counsel for Mr. Singh, told the court that his client was advised to approach the Supreme Court directly as the appointment of SPP in the case was governed by the orders passed by the Supreme Court while transferring the case to Bangalore in 2003.
Justice A.S. Bopanna, before whom the petition came up for hearing, permitted the petition’s withdrawal.
In his petition, Mr. Singh had contended that the government violated apex court’s direction in removing him from the post without consulting the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. As the State government will have to appoint SPP for the this particular case strictly in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, the consultation with the Chief Justice is mandatory even for removal of persons appointed to the post of SPP, it was argued in the petition.
Besides, Mr. Singh had claimed that removing him from the post without providing him an opportunity in the background of certain allegations made in the petition filed by DMK general secretary K. Anbazhaghan had attached stigma to his career.
Meanwhile, the High Court on Wednesday adjourned to next week the hearing on Mr. Anbazhagan’s petition challenging the appointment of Mr. Singh.
Justice Bopanna adjourned the hearing as senior counsel C.V. Nagesh, appearing for Mr. Anbazhagan, insisted that the petition survives for consideration by the court even after Mr. Singh was removed. Mr. Nagesh argued that the High Court, among other issues, is required to answer the legal issue raised in the petition that whether an advocate other than a designated senior advocate could be appointed as SPP in the case.
Mr. Singh is not a designated senior advocate and the apex court’s direction was to appoint a senior lawyer as SPP for the case, it was argued. As per Section 16 of the Advocates Act, 1961, there will be two classes of advocates – senior advocates and other advocates. And an advocate can be designated as a senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a High Court opines that by virtue of his ability, standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law, he is deserving such distinction.