Senior Advocate Harish Salve today recused himself as Amicus Curiae in the suo motu matter taken up by the Supreme Court regarding management of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country..Salve was appointed to assist the Court in the matter yesterday. The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat had said that it would only hear Salve and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the matter..Appearing in Court today, Salve said,"It's the most sensitive case this Court will look into. I don't want this case to be decided under a shadow that I knew CJI from school and college and allegations being made or there is conflict of interest..."CJI Bobde replied that there was nothing clandestine about their relationship.Salve went on to state,"I did not know our Bar is divided among industries we appear for. Please allow me to recuse with all humility. I appeared for Vedanta since I was informed ten minutes before mentioning...I don't want any side show. The language of the narrative now is very different.".Accepting his decision to recuse, CJI Bobde said,"We will honour your sentiments and you must have been pained. We will allow your request. I also saw what a senior lawyer said but everyone has an opinion.".As per reports, while appearing for Vedanta yesterday, Salve had submitted that the company could produce oxygen at its Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu to make up for the shortage being faced in hospitals treating COVID-19 across the country..The plant owned by Vedanta was shut down by the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) in 2018, citing violations of environmental laws. The closure order was passed immediately after the plant had turned into a protest site, with citizens opposing the expansion of the plant..In December last year, the Supreme Court declined to allow the mining giant's plea for immediate reopening of its copper plant at Thoothukudi. Vedanta had challenged an August 2020 decision of the Madras High Court rejecting the request to reopen the copper smelter plant..[BREAKING] Supreme Court declines interim relief to Vedanta, refuses immediate reopening of Sterlite Plant at Thoothukudi.Activist Saket Gokhale has intervened in the suo motu matter, seeking Salve's recusal as Amicus, stating,The definition of the role of an Amicus Curiae by itself suggests that not only should the person appointed in the said role be impartial but also that they be equipped with expert knowledge on the issues at hand......Iearned Counsel Shri Harish Salve does not meet the basic conditions required in the present matter to perform the role of an Amicus Curiae in an efficient manner and assist this Hon'ble Court in effective discharge of justice..."