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'Do not want case under shadow that I knew CJI from school': Harish Salve recuses as amicus in Covid hearing

Harish Salve's appointment as amicus curiae in the case had drawn sharp responses from some senior advocates like Dushyant Dave. Dave claimed that Salve had proximity with the government of the day and is a childhood friend of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.

Harish Salve recuses as amicus in Supreme Court Covid hearing-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Apr 23, 2021, 12:33 PM IST
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Senior counsel Harish Salve has recused himself as amicus in the suo motu proceedings initiated by the Supreme Court on the Covid crisis in the country.

Harish Salve's appointment as amicus curiae in the case had drawn sharp responses from some senior advocates like Dushyant Dave. Dave claimed that Salve had proximity with the government of the day and is a childhood friend of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.

Stating that the comments pained him, Salve said: "I do not want this case to be decided under a shadow that I knew the Chief justice of India from school and college, and allegations being made or there is a conflict of interest."

He further said, "I did not know our bar is divided among industries we appear for. Please allow me to recuse with all humility. I appeared for Vedanta since it was informed 10 minutes before mentioning. The language of the narrative now is very different."

The hearing was adjourned till Tuesday when the new Chief Justice of India NV Ramana will hear it.

CJI SA Bobde, who retires today, said he was disappointed by the comments made by some senior lawyers.

Former Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave had said, "Salve is not in India. He has been living in London for a long time and does not know the realities of India. He does not know the sufferings of Indian people. He does not know the pain of Indians. Whatever be his abilities, frankly, Salve has a conflict of interest because he represents the biggest industrial houses in the country, including Sterlite. Salve's statement to reopen the Sterlite plant itself frankly disentitles him to carry on as amicus curiae. I am disturbed that Chief Justice Bode has appointed Salve as amicus when he is not available in India. There are many, many top class, fiercely independent lawyers in this country, and Salve's proximity to the government of the day is well known. He has appeared to defend the government directly and indirectly in a large number of cases during Covid."

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