The Bar Council of India on Saturday issued a notice to former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his wife Nalini Chidambaram for misuse of their senior advocate designations, The Times of India reported.
A four-member special committee of the council issued the notice to the couple based on a complaint filed by journalist J Gopikrishnan. It asked them to appear before the committee on September 28.
Gopikrishnan wrote to the Supreme Court on January 16 that the Congress leader has been named in a chargesheet for corruption and criminal cases that are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department. The journalist pointed out that Chidambaram on January 11 wore senior advocate robe and came to a trial hearing for his anticipatory bail plea. He said it was a clear misuse of the designation to visit the court while his case was being argued.
“After perusal of the complaint, and in the interest of justice, the committee is to issue notice to P Chidambaram, senior advocate, and his wife Nalini Chidambaram, senior advocate, as well as to the complainant J Gopikrishnan, to appear before the committee on September 28 at 11.30 am at Bar Council of India either in person or through their counsel,” said the order issued by the committee.
The BCI also directed that a copy of the complaint as well as a letter from the deputy registrar of the Supreme Court be sent to the couple so that they are able to submit their replies to the committee.
On Friday, the Supreme Court granted interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate to Chidambaram in the INX Media case, and will take up his appeal against arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the case on August 26.
Chidambaram was arrested late on Wednesday, a day after the Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail application. His lawyers had moved the Supreme Court earlier in the day to request urgent listing of a plea for protection from arrest. The court had asked them to wait despite two attempts by the lawyers to mention the plea, and finally, in the evening, agreed to hear the plea on Friday. A special CBI court on Thursday remanded Chidambaram to the agency’s custody till August 26.
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