Open rift among Alok Verma's lawyers in SC

Senior advocate Fali S Nariman submitted before a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he was not informed or taken into confidence by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

An open rift among the lawyers of CBI chief Alok Verma came out open in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, betraying lack of coordination and strategy.

Senior advocate Fali S Nariman submitted before a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he was not informed or taken into confidence by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, when the latter on Monday sought more time from the court to file Verma's reply to the CVC inquiry report.

"I did not authorise him (Gopal). In fact, I came to know about it after going through the newspaper this morning. My associate and I sat through the night to prepare the response," Nariman told the bench.

Verma had on Monday filed a response in a sealed envelope to an inquiry report by the Central Vigilance Commission prepared under the supervision of former SC judge, Justice A K Patnaik. He was to file it by 1 pm but Sankaranarayanan, representing Verma, sought more time but the court had then asked him to do it as quickly as possible but not later than 4 pm. 

On Tuesday, the court expressed its anguish over the media reports related to internal fight within the CBI.

Responding to Nariman's charge,  Sankaranarayanan, along with Verma's advocate-on-record, Pooja Dhar sought to clarify saying that it was on client's instructions only, the mentioning was made for more time on Monday.

This again angered Nariman, who said, "Then what is the purpose of engaging a senior counsel. I said I did not authorise anyone (counsel) to mention the matter for more time."

On this, both Sankaranarayanan and Dhar sought to contend this had never been the practice.

"I have 67 years of practice, I know better than you, what is the practice here," Nariman rebuffed the junior counsel's plea.

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Open rift among Alok Verma's lawyers in SC

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