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    Published On : Tue, Feb 27th, 2018

    HC stays BCI order to Guj bar council to proceed against sr lawyer

    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today put on hold a direction of the apex lawyers body, BCI, to the Gujarat bar council to start disciplinary proceedings against senior advocate Dushyant Dave for statements allegedly made by him regarding the death of Special CBI Judge B H Loya.

    Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, had died allegedly of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleagues daughter.

    Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and questioned its jurisdiction to direct the state lawyers body on the mode and manner of carrying out the proceedings.

    Apart from the BCI, the court also sought the response of the Gujarat State Bar Council and listed the matter for further hearing on August 2, till when it has stayed the BCIs January 24 order.

    The BCI in its order had told the state bar council to complete the proceedings by February 28 and also suggested the composition of the disciplinary committee.

    Senior advocate Arvind Nigam and advocate Ramesh Singh, appearing for Dave, told the high court that the BCI has exceeded the jurisdiction and powers it had under the statute to pass the order under challenge.

    They contended that the complaint, which was the basis of the order under challenge, had sought suspension of certificate to practice of advocate Prashant Bhushan and no action had been sought against Dave.

    BCIs order of January 24 had come pursuant to a complaint made by another lawyer, R P Luthra, alleging professional misconduct by Dave as well as Bhushan.

    In Bhushans case, the BCI had issued a similar direction to the Delhi Bar Council.

    Defending its decision in Daves case, the BCI said it had only referred the matter to the Gujarat State Bar Council requesting it to start the proceedings against Dave for professional misconduct.

    In its order, the BCI had claimed that Dave had reportedly advised Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla to withdraw from the Supreme Court his petition for an independent probe into the alleged mysterious death of Loya, by “casting some allegations against one of the Judges of Supreme Court”.

    The BCI order said that after giving such an advise which was not agreed to by Poonawalla, “in that event it was not at all just and proper for Dushyant Dave to appear in the matter”.

    The BCI had also said Daves statements against senior advocate Harish Salve in the apex court with regard to the latter appearing for the Maharashtra Government in Loya?s death case “also prima-facie appears to be serious misconduct”.

    During the January 22 hearing in the Loya death case, Dave had said,”Mr Salve had earlier appeared for Amit Shah, now Rajya Sabha MP, in the case and now switched sides. This is a serious case of conflict of interest. This matter calls for judicial indulgence as there are serious contradictions.”

    When Salve had tried to interrupt, Dave had said, “Your Lordships should not permit Mr Salve to address the court in this matter”.

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