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CJI says will look into case of Justice Gogoi's ire over lawyer's holiday snaps recusal-request

Gogoi apparently met member of respondent company a year ago while on holidays
Gogoi apparently met member of respondent company a year ago while on holidays

Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur today said that he would examine the plea of advocate Mrinal Kanti Mandal, against whom Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s had ordered action by bar councils after Mandal had requested Gogoi’s recusal.

According to a source present in court and a report by Bar & Bench, Thakur said he would “look into” the matter.

Parijat Sinha, standing counsel of West Bengal and advocate-on-record in the matter at the heart of the spat, appeared for Mandal before the CJI today.

As reported by Legally India on 2 March, Gogoi had passed an order against Mandal on 18 February.

Mandal had asked for Gogoi to recuse himself from hearing the case, since the judge had met members of the respondent company according to photographs published in a publication affiliated to the respondents, showing Gogoi on a family holiday being received by management of respondent entities.

Gogoi had ordered:

We do not see why the learned counsel should have pointed the said fact inasmuch as upon reading of the case record when the matter would have been called out in the normal course the learned judge, if he feels any incapacity or inconvenience to deal with the matter would have recused himself.

The submission made by the learned counsel proceeds on certain presumptions that the learned judge who visited City Palace Museum, Udaipur was aware or made aware subsequently of the pending litigation; that the litigation is pending in his Court; and that the learned judge had been spoken to by the opposite party (the respondents).

The conduct of the learned member(s) of the Bar cannot be appreciated. I (Ranjan Gogoi, J), therefore, refer the matter to the Bar Council of Delhi and the Bar Council of India for taking up appropriate action in respect of the above conduct of Shri Mrinal Kanti Mandal.

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