Current AffairsIndia

“I have an announcement,” CJI Bobde’s disclosure of potential conflict of interest

“I have an announcement to make,” was how Chief Justice of India SA Bobde interjected a Senior Counsel during the proceedings in the much-hyped corporate battle between Tata group and Shapoorji Pallonji group which is currently under way before the Supreme Court.

For a moment, it seemed the CJI had something big to disclose. But the excitement quickly passed since the “announcement” had to do with the case itself.

“Over the weekend I discovered that my son has been representing a subsidiary company of Shapoorji Pallonji group in a slum rehabilitation matter in Mumbai for the last two years. I thought about disclosing this in case any of you have objections to my hearing this case,” CJI Bobde said.

The statement was specifically addressed to Senior Counsel Harish Salve and Dr. AM Singhvi counsel for Tata group in the matter.

However, none of the Senior Counsel for Tata or Shapoorji Pallonji group objected.

Salve said that he even had appeared for Shapoorji Pallonji in other matters. Senior Counsel CA Sundaram, representing Shapoorji Pallonji firms, said that all of them appear for one company or the other at some point of time.

“These things are better clarified in the beginning. Else such issues could cause potential problems in the future,” CJI Bobde said.

The Court then proceeded to record the same.

“Today when the matter was taken up for hearing, this Court disclosed to the Bar that Mr. Shrinivas Bobde, learned counsel, has been appearing on behalf of a subsidiary company of Shapoorji Pallonji Group at Mumbai in a matter regarding slum rehabilitation for about two years. Learned senior counsel/counsel appearing for the parties viz., Mr. Harish N. Salve, Dr. A.M. Singhvi, Mr. C.A. Sundaram, Mr. Mohan Parasaran, Mr. Shyam Divan, Ms. Fereshte D. Sethna, etc., have stated that they have no objection to this Court deciding the present matters. The aforesaid joint statement made by learned counsel appearing for the parties is taken on record,” the order passed on Monday read.

The hearing in the case will continue Tuesday.


Via Bar & Bench
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