A writ petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking to recall the 'Senior' designation of Advocate Rajeev Dhawan, allegedly for smoking during the Virtual Court proceedings.
The petition has been filed by one Rashid Khan Pathan, claiming to be a human rights activist, in the backdrop of a recent viral video where Mr. Dhawan can be seen smoking during a virtual hearing before the Supreme Court.
The alleged incident occurred during hearing on the disqualification petition of 6 BSP MLAs of Rajasthan Assembly.
The Petitioner states that such "disgraceful conduct" of the Senior Advocate is an outright affront within the meaning of Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Courts Act r/w the Bar Council Rules, as to Advocates Code of Conduct.
It is submitted,
"Under Rule 1 & 2 of Bar Council of India, Code of Conduct Rules, enjoins an advocate to act in a dignified manner before a Court & with self-respect. The term Court certainly includes a virtual Court; and the adherence to dignified conduct is a 'must' without any known exception for a designated senior advocate."
Relying on the Supreme Court's verdict in E.S. Reddi v. Chief Secretary, Government of A.P (1987) 3 SCC 258, the Petitioner emphasizes that 'Senior Advocates' are conferred of their designation as an acknowledgement for their knowledge and upright conduct, to serve as role models for the profession.
However, Mr. Dhwan has "denigrated the dignity" of the Supreme Court and its Judges with impunity, by his conduct.
The Petitioner has contended that Mr. Dhawan is in the "habit of brow beating" and "insulting the dignity of court" and is certainly "not befitting" a designated Senior Advocate.
He cites earlier instances of misconduct of Mr. Dhawan, such as shouting in the court, rendering, the then Chief Justice of India in exasperation to remark that the trend of the lawyers raising their voices showed their inadequacy, incompetence and the fact that they are not even eligible to become Seniors.
"Smoking during the court room proceedings perhaps exceeded all limits of decency given the wide spread angry reactions by netizens across, and cannot be let off lightly except for exemplary punishment to Adv. Rajeev Dhawan," the Petitioner has now contended.
Click Here To Download Petition