Supreme Court judge B N Agrawal on Friday recused himself from hearing the bail plea of real estate tycoons Sushil and Gopal Ansal in the Uphaar fire case after counsel Ram Jethmalani expressed reservations about the matter being placed before a bench that included him.
A bench headed by Justice B N Agrawal and G S Singhwi requested the Chief Justice of India to place the bail matter before any other bench sans Justice Agrawal.
The bench passed the direction after Jethmalani appearing for the Ansals circulated a letter in the court in which he expressed his opposition about appearing before Agrawal against whom he said,he had written articles in newspapers in a critical manner.
Meanwhile,senior counsel Harish Salve appearing for the CBI took strong exception to Jethmalani’s action and said he would move a contempt petition on the matter.
Salve and Neelam Krishnamurthy,founder of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy Victim’s Association,alleged that it was part of the “bench hunting” strategy of the Ansals to get bail.
Justice B N Agrawal had cancelled the bail of the Ansals and had sent them to jail.