CWG case: court irked by defence counsel's "aspersions"

CWG case: court irked by defence counsel's "aspersions"

The ''false aspersions'' made by a designated senior counsel against a Delhi court dealing with the CWG graft case today infuriated a special CBI judge who complained about his conduct to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.

Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh, who is dealing with the CWG Timing, Scoring and Results System (TSR) scam case, was irked after senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for one of the accused, said prosecutor and 'naib' court (representative of police) visits the judge's chamber which gave an impression that a fair trial was not being conducted.

"A senior advocate is expected to act in a most dignified way and set an example for other advocates to follow. Unfortunately, Ramesh Gupta has failed to do while appearing before the court today. It appears that false aspersions have been made against this court by senior advocate Ramesh Gupta with some ulterior motive.

"Let this conduct of Ramesh Gupta, senior advocate, be brought to the notice of Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi," the judge said.

The court said that being a senior counsel, Gupta, who is appearing for former Secretary General of CWG Organising Committee (OC) Lalit Bhanot, should not level "false allegations" against it without any basis.

"In my humble view, it is not expected from an advocate designated as a senior advocate to make false allegations to lower the dignity of court in the eyes of litigants, advocates and public at large when he has no basis to make such allegations," it said.

The exchange of words between Gupta and the judge occurred when the counsel said the accused should not be called in the court everyday for scrutiny of documents.

Gupta said a hostile atmosphere was being created in the court by calling the accused everyday for scrutiny.

"The public prosecutor and the naib of this court visit the chamber of the judge off and on and it gives an impression to the accused, advocates and the press that a fair trial is not being conducted.

"Since date of scrutiny is fixed on February 23, so there is no need for the accused to be present in court on every day in between as the scrutiny is to be done in chambers of the advocates and not in court," the senior counsel said.

The CBI prosecutor opposed the submissions of the senior counsel saying scrutiny is done in the court and presence of accused is essential to assist the advocates in pointing out the deficient documents.

"When the accused were in jail, at the specific request of counsel for accused persons, it was directed that the accused be produced in the court everyday so that they may assist in scrutiny," CBI prosecutor V K Sharma said.

The court adjourned the matter for February 23 and has sent the case file to the District Judge for appropriate orders.

"Case file be sent to the District Judge for appropriate orders. Matter is adjourned to February 23 for awaiting further directions in this regard. File be placed before District and Sessions Judge, Delhi, for February 10 at 2 PM for further orders," the judge said.

Before the exchange of words between the counsel and the judge, the court allowed the exemption application of accused Surjit Lal, OC former Director General (procurement), till February 14 as his mother has expired.

The court, however, gave two weeks time till February 23 to the defence counsel to complete the scrutiny of documents .

"Final date for scrutiny is fixed on February 23 ....Scrutiny will continue on day-to-day basis," it said.