Senior Lawyer Rajeev Dhavan Quits Practice, Cites 'Humiliation' In Court

Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, who has a career spanning over three decades, had been admonished by the Supreme Court in three cases taken up on three consecutive days last week

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Senior Lawyer Rajeev Dhavan Quits Practice, Cites 'Humiliation' In Court

Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan has fought many high-profile cases (File)


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Rajeev Dhavan retired after a career spanning three decades
  2. He had been admonished by the Supreme Court in 3 cases taken up last week
  3. The Supreme Court bench had criticised the raising of voices in the cases
Rajeev Dhavan, a senior lawyer who has fought many high-profile cases, today quit his legal practice citing humiliation in court -- a move that took many by surprise.

Mr Dhavan, who has a career spanning over three decades, had been admonished by the Supreme Court in three cases taken up on three consecutive days last week.

"After the humiliating end to the Delhi case, I have decided to give up Court practice. You are entitled to take back my Senior Gown conferred on me, though I would like to keep it for memory and services rendered," the senior lawyer wrote in a letter to the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.

Last Tuesday, there were loud arguments in court as Mr Dhavan said hearings in the Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute should be deferred as he made the point that Justice Misra would not be able to reach a conclusion before his retirement in October next.

A day later, representing the Delhi government in its power tussle with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Mr Dhavan engaged in a verbal back-and-forth with the Chief Justice.

In a third case revolving around a Parsi woman's petition on her religious identity after marrying a Hindu, the top court expressed displeasure over what it called lawyers violating decorum.

"What happened yesterday was atrocious and what happened a day before was more atrocious," said the Chief Justice on Thursday.

Without taking names, Justice Misra referred to the Delhi and Ayodhya hearings and said: "Raising voices will never be tolerated. Argue on legal principles. Raising voice shows incompetency not worthy of a senior lawyer and their actions are atrocious.  When Bar fails to regulate we will be compelled to regulate."

Raising voices, added the country's top judge, "only shows their inadequacy, incompetence and that they are not fit to be seniors."

Many Jurists felt Mr Dhavan's decision was unfortunate and he shouldn't have given up his practice.

"Just because Dhavan's submissions were not accepted he is quitting.  He should not be hypersensitive and must have broad shoulders and it sets bad example...My advice to Dhavan is don't be hyper sensitive, come and practice," said Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General.
 


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