SC comes down heavily on Maharashtra Wakf Board for removing AG as counsel

The Supreme Court Tuesday came down heavily on the Maharashtra Wakf Board for removing Attorney General K K Venugopal as its counsel before the hearing on a batch of pleas relating to legal questions on the donation of land by Muslims and its position under wakf laws, saying this is not the way you behave with the Attorney General AG. The Attorney General said his last-minute removal is an unwarranted attempt to interfere in the due administration of justice and clearly is an act of contempt of court. I am very much disturbed after seeing your AGs letter.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 02-08-2022 19:39 IST | Created: 02-08-2022 19:39 IST
SC comes down heavily on Maharashtra Wakf Board for removing AG as counsel
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The Supreme Court Tuesday came down heavily on the Maharashtra Wakf Board for removing Attorney General K K Venugopal as its counsel before the hearing on a batch of pleas relating to legal questions on the donation of land by Muslims and its position under ‘wakf’ laws, saying “this is not the way you behave with the Attorney General (AG).” The Attorney General said his last-minute removal is an ''unwarranted attempt to interfere in the due administration of justice'' and ''clearly is an act of contempt of court.'' “I am very much disturbed after seeing your (AG’s) letter. What are you (Wakf Board) thinking? Is this the way you deal with the Attorney General for India,” Chief Justice N V Ramana said after taking note of the letter of Venugopal.

“I sincerely apologise,” responded the counsel for the Wakf Board.

At the outset of the hearing, the bench, also comprising justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli was told by Venugopal that he has been removed from the case and a letter to this effect was circulated.

“When he had agreed to argue the matter despite some issues... and you replaced him. What is this? This is not the way to remove the AG. I am not going to advance the date (of hearing). List it on the day fixed,” the CJI said.

The top court is seized of petitions relating to the legal question of whether land donated by Muslims for charitable work would come under 'wakf’ law just because the settler is a Muslim.

On Monday, the AG, who has been preparing for the case even while being down with Covid, wrote to the Registrar Judicial of the apex court alleging his removal as counsel in the matter and said that “an unwarranted attempt to interfere with the administration of justice'' has taken place and this amounted to “contempt of court''.

“The last such person, who has been targeted, is the Attorney General for India. All this interference with counsel who is to represent parties being removed at the last minute is a serious uncalled for and unwarranted attempt to interfere in the due administration of justice by removing counsel representing the parties.

“This clearly is an act of contempt of court. The Attorney General cannot be dealt with so casually through a letter of this nature for the simple reason that under Article 76 (3) of the Constitution: ‘In the performance of his duties as the Attorney General shall have the right to audience in all courts in the territory of India,” Venugopal wrote in his letter.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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