After showdown with CJI Misra, Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhawan quits practice

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After showdown with CJI Misra, Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhawan quits practice

Rajeev Dhawan, who had heated arguments with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra last week, quit court practice after "humiliating end" to the Delhi vs Centre case.

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhawan has quit court practice after a high-profile showdown with Chief Justice of India Dipka Misra that saw the later rebuking lawyers in an unprecedented manner last week.

In a simple two-sentence letter addressed to CJI Misra, Dhawan said, "After the humiliating end to the Delhi (vs Centre) case, I have decided to give up court practice."

Dhawan goes on to note that CJI Misra is "entitled" to take away the "Senior Gown" conferred on the lawyer. However, "I would like to keep it for memory and services rendered," Dhawan said in an addendum.

Dhawan's decision to leave court practice comes days after he had two famous run-ins with the Chief Justice. The first was during the Ayodhya case during which Dhawan and fellow lawyers Kapil Sibal and Dushyant Dave animatedly pleaded that the Supreme Court defer hearings in the Babri-Ram Janmabhoomi case until after the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

During the arguments, Dhawan was reported to have shouted at CJI Misra. Then, in the matter of Centre vs Delhi, Dhawan, who was representing the Arvind Kejriwal government, wanted to further a few more arguments even though CJI Misra had said that the Supreme Court had reserved its order in the case.

The case itself relates to the power tussle between the Kejriwal government and the Delhi Liutentn-General, a Union government appointee. The apex court has been approached to adjudicate who between the two authorities has primacy as far as governing Delhi is concerned.

Following these two instances, CJI Misra, in a rare rebuke to Supreme Court lawyers, bluntly said the trend of lawyers raising their voices showed their "inadequacy, incompetence and the fact that they are not even eligible to become seniors".

"If the Supreme Court Bar Association does not regulate such members, we will be forced to regulate them," CJI Misra also said. "When lawyers argue in a manner not in tune with Constitutional language, we will tolerate it, but for how long? If the Bar does not regulate itself, we will be compelled to regulate."