Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi: Spotlight this week

The resignation of the senior lawyer, who appeared in several prominent cases including the Delhi Riots matters and the MediaOne ban, took many in the legal circles by surprise.
Aman Lekhi
Aman Lekhi

Spotlight is a series where we shine the, well, spotlight on lawyers, judges and legal experts who made news over the past week.

In a big announcement, Senior Counsel Aman Lekhi stepped down as Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of India on Friday. While the move has kept everyone guessing about his reasons for stepping down, Lekhi did not specify the cause in his letter to Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.

Lekhi , who was appointed to the post in March 2018, has appeared in many high-profile cases. Some of these include the cases connected to the 2020 Delhi Riots before the Delhi High Court, and most recently the MediaOne ban case before the Kerala High Court.

Who is Aman Lekhi?

Lekhi, who is a designated Senior Advocate, primarily practices at the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court. He was appointed to represent the Central government as ASG before the Supreme Court in 2018.

After graduating with honours in Political Science from Hindu College, University of Delhi, he completed his law from the Campus Law Centre, where he was bestowed with the title of being the “best student advocate”.

He is the son of renowned Supreme Court lawyer Pran Nath Lekhi and is married to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from the New Delhi constituency, Meenakshi Lekhi.

Prominent Cases

In addition to the coal allocation scam case, Lekhi appeared in the 2G spectrum scam case and the Commonwealth Games scam case. He represented sociologist and clinical psychologist Ashis Nandy in a case that involved a controversy regarding the latter’s alleged anti-Dalit remarks at the 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival.

Lekhi appeared in a case under the Right to Information Act against the Union Public Service Commission with regard to the 2006 Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, subsequent to which the UPSC had to change the pattern of examination itself.

He argued in several matters pertaining to the telecom sector involving the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

He represented Farida Dar "Behenji" in the Lajpat Nagar blast case, and Nazir Ahmed Qasid and Farooq Ahmed Qasid in a case connected to the terrorist attack at the Red Fort in 2000.

He also represented Zee network in cases involving industrialist Naveen Jindal.

He appeared in the case concerning recommendations by the Justice GR Majithia Committee with regard to working journalists and newspaper and news agency employees and the challenge to the Working Journalists Act of 1955.

Why is he in the Spotlight?

Lekhi’s resignation from the post of the ASG on Friday took many in the legal fraternity by surprise. Speculation was rife on social media, with many raising questions on the reasons for which he tendered his resignation.

The move received wide media attention and elicited a sense of curiosity on the possible impact on the cases he was appearing as ASG.

Lekhi has previously been vocal about his views on subjects relating to the judiciary and legal developments happening in the country. Speaking at a webinar in 2020, Lekhi had said,

We have to trust the judges…They are subject to criticism. They will make mistakes. We are entitled to say that they are wrong. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that our trust must necessarily go down.”

We have to trust the judges…They are subject to criticism. They will make mistakes.
Senior Counsel Aman Lekhi in 2020

Some years ago, though Lekhi said Afzal Guru deserved to the hanged, he disapproved of the way it was done.

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