The Bar Council of India (BCI) formed a four-member committee to probe into the complaint against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his wife Nalini Chidambaram for misusing the Senior Advocate title. The BCI general council meeting on Sunday discussed the matter and formed the Committee headed by BCI Co-Chairman S Prabhakaran. The other members of the committee are senior advocates Ved Sharma, Shylendra Dubey, and Srimali. The BCI has asked the four-member panel to submit the report in four weeks.
The BCI’s move came after the complaint filed by noted journalist J Gopikrishnan of the Pioneer newspaper to the Chief Justice of India in January. In June, the Supreme Court has asked the BCI to examine the complaint of the journalist.
In a detailed complaint to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, the journalist said that both husband-wife are accused in many cases misusing the Senor Advocate title granted by the court. In his petition, Gopikrishnan said that Chidambaram appeared in the trial court as an accused wearing his Sr. Advocate robes. The complaint detailed how courts are “benevolent” to the many-cases-accused husband and wife.
“Mr. P Chidambaram and his wife Mrs. Nalini Chidambaram are holding the title of Senior Advocate granted by the Supreme Court of India. Now both persons are charge-sheeted as accused for various corruption, money laundering and holding black money related cases by CBI, ED and Income Tax.
On January 11, 2019, Mr. Chidambaram, who is an accused in Aircel-Maxis case appeared in the Senior Advocate’s uniform in the trial court (2G Court) when his advocates Kapil Sibal & Abhishek Singhvi were arguing on the anticipatory bail application, which is challenged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). It is unethical for a Senior Advocate title holding person to appear in a trial court in Senior Advocates’ dress where he is an Accused. Here Chidambaram appeared as an accused while his advocates were arguing for him. He should have come in normal dress when he is charged as accused. This is a clear misuse of holding Senior Advocate Designation by an accused who is charge-sheeted under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act. I was also present in the trial court and there are many video visuals aired by TV channels showing Chidambaram coming to trial court wearing the dress of a Senior Advocate designation,” said the Journalist. The detailed complaint is published at the end of this report.
The complaint also detailed how the 2G Court Judge O P Saini was giving favours to Chidambaram and the Madras High Court was helping Nalini Chidambaram. It also accused Delhi High Court of showing favours to Chidambaram in the INX Media bribery case. “Respected Chief Justice of India, such kind of benevolence from Courts expected for a common citizen?” asked the Journalist, demanding the cancellation of Senior Advocate title given to Chidambaram and wife, till the end of the trial. He also demanded: “Implement an Annual Affidavit from all Senior Advocate Designated persons about any cases against them, if any and withhold if there is any cases which are serious of nature.”
The detailed complaint is published below:
 Complaint against P Chidambaram and wife: BCI forms probe panel – Aug 11, 2019, The Times of India
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