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Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan quits court practice, cites ‘humiliating end’

During the hearing of the case in which the AAP government has challenged the High Court’s decision to uphold the Lieutenant Governor as the administrative head of the NCR, the courtroom had witnessed passionate exchanges between Dhavan and CJI Misra

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 12, 2017 4:45:42 am
Rajeev Dhavan was caught in a spat with CJI in court.

Citing humiliation in the Supreme Court during the hearing in the Delhi government vs Centre case last week, Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, in a letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday, announced his decision to “give up court practice”.

“After the humiliating end to the Delhi case, I have decided to give up court practice. You are entitled to take back the Senior Gown conferred on me, though I would like to keep it for memory and services rendered,” Dhavan said in his letter.

On December 6, during the hearing of the case in which the AAP government has challenged the High Court’s decision to uphold the Lieutenant Governor as the administrative head of the National Capital Region (NCR), the courtroom had witnessed passionate exchanges between Dhavan and Indira Jaising, and also between Dhavan and CJI Misra, who was heading a five-judge Constitution bench.

While Dhavan and Jaising were both appearing for the Delhi government, there were disagreements in their line of argument. Dhavan’s insistence that he had more arguments did not go down well with the CJI, who expressed his anguish. That upset the senior lawyer, who felt that the bench was not allowing him to articulate his views.

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A snapshot of the letter written by Rajeev Dhavan.

The previous day too, there was high drama in the courtroom during the hearing of the Ayodhya case, with Dhavan, and senior counsel Kapil Sibal and Dushyant Dave taking on the bench. At one point, they wanted to walk out of the court, expressing their displeasure over the “procedure” adopted by the court.  Sibal wanted the court to postpone the hearing till July 2019, saying “this is not the appropriate time to hear it”. “…if your lordships say this is so urgent that it must be heard now, then your lordships must explain why,” he said.

The issue of maintaining decorum in the courtroom came up during another hearing on December 7. “What happened yesterday was atrocious and what happened a day before was more atrocious,” CJI Misra remarked. “When lawyers argue in a manner not in tune with Constitutional language, we will tolerate it, but for how long? If the Bar does not regulate itself, we will be compelled to regulate,” he said.

“Unfortunately, a small group of Senior Counsel think they can raise their voices. But they must understand that raising voices will not be tolerated. Raising voices only shows their inadequacy, incompetence and that they are not fit to be Seniors,” he said. Though he did not mention any case, it was apparent that he was referring to the hearings in the Delhi government versus Centre case and the Ayodhya case.

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