The Madras High Court Tuesday ordered the suspension of the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Bar Council chairman on charges of trying to influence a judge in a case linked to former central minister A. Raja, who has denied any wrongdoing.
A division bench of Justice F.M. Ibrahim Khalifulla and Justice M.M. Sundaresh ordered the immediate suspension of R.K. Chandramohan from his Bar Council post.
They were hearing a petition of G. Rajendran, praying for initiating contempt of court proceedings against Chandramohan, who has been accused of trying to influence Justice R. Raghupathy last year.
The judge was hearing the bail application of C. Krishnamurthy and Kriba Shridhar, who were accused of forging marksheets.
The bench Tuesday also said that Chandramohan should not be allowed to function as chairman pending disciplinary action against him by the Bar Council of India.
Last year, Justice Reghupathy sensationally declared in an open court that a central minister had tried to influence him to grant bail to the two men.
The men were being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The judge had threatened to complain to the central government and the prime minister about the union minister’s interference but did not name the minister.
Shridhar, who was failing in his exams for the past two years, joined hands with his father and allegedly changed his answer-sheet to get extra marks in the subject. Later, the CBI found the father-son duo to be involved in forging marksheets.
Detailing the incident, Justice Reghupathy wrote to then Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that Chandramohan came to him on June 12, 2009, around 2 p.m.
After a brief chat, Chandramohan spoke about the bail petition of two of his clients who he said were close to DMK leader and then central minister Raja, who is now embroiled in the G2 spectrum row.
The judge said Chandramohan handed over his mobile telephone saying a central minister wanted to talk to him.
“Right away I discouraged such conduct of Chandramohan and told him that the case would be disposed of in accordance with the law if listed before me,” the letter said.
Raja denied that he ever tried to influence any judge. “I am a man of integrity,” he told TimesNow television channel.
AIADMK General Secretary J.Jayalalithaa had earlier said it was Raja who had tried to influence Justice Reghupathy.
“Though the honourable judge refrained from naming the union minister, it does not require any super-human intelligence to conclude that it was none other than the telecom scam-tainted Raja,” she said last July.
She noted that this was the first time in India that a sitting high court judge had accused a union minister of threatening him.