The Delhi high court on Wednesday dismissed a plea for probe by the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) into the alleged CD row, purportedly involving senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
“The petition is dismissed. The petitioner is seeking a direction to the BCD and the Delhi high court Bar Association to take action against the employee of the lawyer concerned.
“The lawyer’s body are not empowered to take action against an employee of an advocate,” a bench headed by acting Chief Justice AK Sikri said.
The court’s order came on a plea by a social worker, Sanjay Kumar, seeking an inqury into the CD row allegedly pertaining to Singhvi and a noted woman lawyer of the Delhi high court.
“Everybody on the street is saying what is happening in the high court. Just to save the image of lawyer’s community, an inquiry be ordered,” said the petitioner’s counsel Sugriv Dubey.
“It is a matter of record that this court has already passed an order in the matter and the PIL (public interest litigation) on the issue cannot be entertained,” the bench, also comprising justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, said adding that the lawyers’ body cannot take any action against the employee concerned.
“Every employee of a lawyer… has to protect the privacy of an individual and in the preset case it was the duty of the person (Singhv’s driver) not to attack the individual’s privacy,” the PIL said.
Refusing to entertain the plea, the bench said “such things cannot be a subject matter of a public interest litigation.”
Earlier, on April 19, Singhvi and his former driver had informed the court they have amicably settled the matter, involving the CD, between them.
Justice Reva Khetrapal had on April 13 had passed an ex-parte order restraining media groups and the driver from publishing, telecasting and broadcasting contents of the CD.
Counsel for Aaj Tak, Headlines Today and India Today, had told the court that they will handover the alleged CD to the person who provided it to them.
Singhvi’s counsel had told the court that in the light of the settlement arrived at between the parties, he would withdraw the police complaint against Mukesh Lal.
The court had also taken note of Lal’s reply in which he apologised for sending “threatening SMSs” to the lawyer.
“The CD was sent by me in a fit of rage and vengeance. The camera was used illegally and secondly, the CDs were doctored and morphed in such a manner so as to deliberately show plaintiff 2 (Singhvi) in a bad light,” the driver, in his 6-page reply, had said.
Singhvi and his associate Abhimanyu Bhandari had moved the court saying they had come to know through some political leaders that some media houses were in possession of the alleged CD.
They had alleged that the CD was “forged, concocted, morphed and fabricated”. Any move to telecast the alleged CD would infringe the right to reputation of Singhvi, the plea had said.