The Managing Committee of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association has unanimously resolved to support Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who has been facing condemnation for his comments on Justice Jayant M. Patel’s resignation earlier this week.
The Association has requested the Bar Council of India (BCI) to withdraw the show cause notice issued to Mr. Dave, “in the larger public interest and administration of justice”.
As per the resolution, the Association opines that “it would be improper for the Bar Council of India to initiate action against any advocate for his lawful exercise of the fundamental right”.
It explains, “The freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India which is subject to the restrictions provided in Cl (2) only that too by a law made by the State. Certain statements made by Mr. Dave in the program are duly protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India unless the court concerned takes it as contempt of court. It such statements are viewed by any statutory authority other than the superior court to be scandalous or contumacious, it has no power or jurisdiction to take action. Moreover, now in contempt proceedings, truth is also allowed as a valid defence.”
Participating in a discussion during the programme “Left, Right and Centre” on NDTV 24X7 on Wednesday, Mr. Dave had minced no words while condemning not just Justice Patel’s transfer but also the functioning of the collegium system of judicial appointments as a whole.
He had said:
“Collegium has been making thunderous sounds about independence of judiciary. They wrested control of judicial appointments from executive under the garb of freeing the judiciary from political interference, but that is precisely what is happening today.
It is the darkest day in Indian judiciary. I did not expect much from the Hon’ble Chief Justice since he is compromised because of serious allegations against him in the Kalikho Pul suicide note and the CBI case pending against him. But the four other Collegium members are outstanding, and men of absolute integrity and I have great respect. So I am terribly shocked that this decision has been taken.”
Read the Minutes Of Meeting