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The hearing in the case seeking a probe into the death of Judge Loya witnessed a heated exchange among Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave, Pallav Shishodia and Justice DY Chandrachud today.
The decibel levels rose and sparks flew in the court of Chief Justice of India after an exchange between Dave and Shishodia prompted Chandrachud J to intervene.
The hearing today was uncharacteristically quiet in its initial phase, with Senior Advocate V Giri advancing his submissions on behalf of petitioner, Tehseen Poonawalla.
After Giri made his submissions, Shishodia advanced his arguments on behalf of another petitioner, Bandhuraj Lone.
Shishodia submitted that the trigger to approach this Court was two conflicting reports, one published by Caravan and the other by Indian Express, regarding Judge Loya’s death.
“This petitioner does not seek to comment further on the facts since arguments have been made extensively on the same”, submitted Shishodia.
He then stated,
“An independent probe cannot be a one-way traffic when people making allegations can hit and run after casting aspersion on judiciary and judges. So appropriate directions have to be passed by this court”, submitted Shishodia, concluding his arguments.
Subsequently, Indira Jaising rose to make her submissions, not before taking a dig at Shishodia’s client.
“If he does not want an enquiry, then why has he come here?”, asked Jaising.
Dushyant Dave also echoed the same view, and proceeded to criticise Shishodia in strong words, resulting in a heated exchange of words.
“The nature of your submissions have exposed you. This petition was filed here so that the matter could be buried. It was mentioned and listed before court 10 for that. Now your submissions have exposed the same”, said Dushyant Dave.
Dave did not stop there and castigated Shishodia for alleged conflict of interest in appearing in the case.
“You had appeared for Amit Shah and now you are appearing for the petitioner“, said Dave.
Shishodia also did not back away.
“Dave, we don’t care what you say. You can go to hell or heaven or wherever you want”, retorted Shishodia.
Justice Chandrachud then intervened in very strong words.
“Let us not reduce the dialogue in this court to the level of fish market. You should at least have regard for the two portraits in this room. You should not shout down the judge. You have to listen to me Mr. Dave”, said Chandrachud.
“No, I will not. Your Lordships should have stopped them from appearing in this matter. You will have to answer your conscience”, Dave retorted.
“Please, we know how to listen to our conscience”, was Justice Chandrachud’s response.
Justice Chandrachud then turned to Pallav Shishodia and said,
“Even your language was improper. Courtesy begets courtesy”.
“Sometimes courtesy does not beget courtesy”, Harish Salve joined in.
Dave then came down upon Salve for appearing for Maharashtra.
“Salve defended Amit Shah and he is appearing for Maharashtra government now. Salve is protecting Amit Shah.”
Shishodia intervened saying,
“Amit Shah knows how to protect himself”.
Dave then referred to the Bar Council of India issuing notice to him while stating categorically that he wont be cowed down.
“BCI is issuing notice to me for raising voice of truth while people like them (turning to Shishodia and Salve) who have indulged in misconduct get away. I won’t be cowed down”, Dave made it clear.
He also came down upon the Maharashtra government for not probing the matter.
“State should be protecting the citizens. Only State has the resources to conduct the inquiry; They should be doing it, not me.”
Eventually Senior Advocate Indira Jaising made her submissions before the Bench rose for the day.
Dave had taken objection to Shishodia and Salve appearing in the matter earlier as well. During last week’s hearing, Dave had referred to the conflict of interest of Senior Counsel appearing for State of Maharashtra, including Harish Salve. He had stated,
“It is disappointing that the State is taking this stand [opposing a probe]. And what is even more disappointing is that all those who are appearing for State today have appeared for Amit Shah. But Your Lordships don’t want to hear that.”