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250 SCBA members & prez Krishnamani want Vahanvati censure for Coalgate

Over 250 Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) members signed a petition calling for action against attorney general (AG) Goolam Vahanvati for allegedly interfering with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) report on the coal blocks allocation scam, according to a report in the Times of India yesterday.

The petition was submitted to SCBA president MN Krishnamani before yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing on the coal scam. He told TOI:

If the bench passes adverse remarks against the constitutional office holders and the AG who is a senior advocate and member of the bar, I will address the bench and will have to give expression to the wishes of our members

Since we had very less time to convene a general body meeting I will be watching the hearing on Wednesday and we will decide after the hearing

On Wednesday, SCBA executive member Anoop G Chaudhury appeared in court on behalf of the association and submitted that the SCBA had not yet taken any official stand on the matter, according to today’s report in TOI.

Vahanvati protested at the end of the hearing that he had been “defamed” and “attacked”, and that the SCBA had not mulled any action against him. Krishnamani was present in court but did not address the bench. He told Firstpost:

Vahanvati was explaining his position and he was apologetic to the court. In this particular hearing, the court said it would not discuss Vahanvati’s role at length. More or less, in an indirect way, the stand is that he has not anything wrong and that the former additional solicitor general (ASG) and others are to be blamed.

To resign or not, is up to him. He has attempted to mislead the court. In fairness, he should resign. But then it depends on individual.

It appears that he said something which is not a fact. It amounts to telling lie in the court. This is unpardonable. It is unfortunate that the court is inclined to go to the main issue. He took advantage of it.

He also said that the SCBA, which has the power to move the SC to take action against “whosoever has erred including the AG”, will meet “in a day or two” to discuss the future course of action.

He told Firstpost that he was not surprised by the allegations against Vahanvati. He said: “I believe lawyers are not following ethics. There are no values. Most of us are selfish.”

Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal had resigned at the end of April after alleging that Vahanvati had made him a “scapegoat” in the coal scam, after the CBI’s director Ranjit Sinha did a turnaround on Rawal’s submission that nobody in the political executive had seen the CBI’s report.

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