In further embarrassment to former telecom minister A Raja, the Madras high court on Tuesday suspended from the bar a top lawyer who was allegedly involved in an attempt to influence a judge taking the name of the minister.
A division bench comprising Justice F M Ibrahim Khalifulla and Justice M M Sundaresh, said the status of R K Chandramohan, a member and subsequently the chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondichery, shall stand suspended forthwith.
He should not be permitted to function pending disciplinary action by the Bar Council of India, the bench said.
Disposing of a petition by a lawyer, the bench appended a portion of a letter written by a former judge of the court Justice S Reghupati, who had reported that Chandramohan had entered his chamber last year and pleaded that the case of a father and a son, accused in a marks scandal case in Puducherry, for anticipatory bail be considered favourably as they were 'family friends of a Union minister by name Raja'.
The lawyer handed over his mobile phone to the judge saying that the 'union minister is on the line to have a talk with me'.
"I discouraged such conduct of Mr Chandramohan and told him that the case would be disposed of in accordance with law, if listed before me," Justice Reghupati had said in his letter of July 7, 2009 to the then chief justice of India.
Justice Reghupati, who has since retired, had in his letter complained about Chandramohan's 'outburst and uncontrollable' behaviour.
Earlier, the judge had in the open court last year alleged that a Union minister, through a lawyer, attempted to speak to him on telephone, seeking favours in a case being investigated by CBI. But he had not named the minister.
In his letter to the CJI, Justice Reghupati had observed that "A counsel, who made an attempt to exert influence on the court by using the name of a Cabinet minister, cannot be allowed to succeed in snatching an order in his favour by advancing threat".