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'Attempt to interfere with administration of justice': AG seeks contempt against Maha Wakf Board

'Attempt to interfere with administration of justice': AG seeks contempt against Maha Wakf Board

A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, on Tuesday expressed its discontent with Maharashtra Wakf Board for attempting to replace Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, as counsel in the case, in the middle of hearing on an important question - whether all land donated by Muslims for charitable work would come under Wakf.

The Chief Justice said: "This is not correct... is this the way to treat the AG?"

The AG, who appeared virtually, said: "Yesterday, there was a letter that I am not representing (the Wakf Board)... So far this has never happened."

The Chief Justice added: "This is not the way in which you have to behave with the AG."

The AG urged the top court to take the letter on board so that necessary action can be taken. "This cannot happen in the high court."

After a brief hearing, the top court adjourned the matter to August 19.

The AG has also written a letter to the Supreme Court to take strong exception to the action taken by the Wakf Board.

"All this interference with counsel who are 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," said the AG, in his letter to the Registrar (Judicial).

The letter added: "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 the Attorney General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India'."

He also complained that senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who had informed the court on the last occasion that the AG would be leading him and has been instructing him in the matter, has been withdrawn from the case. The AG, citing the constitutional provision, said that it provides him with a right to an audience and he would use that to address the court even if the Wakf Board removed his preferred advocate-on-record.

The AG also said Javed Shaikh, the special counsel appointed by the Wakf Board who has been instructing him in the Wakf Board cases from 2011 and who, in his opinion, is an authority on Wakf law, has been removed from his post.

'Attempt to interfere with administration of justice': AG seeks contempt against Maha Wakf Board

'Attempt to interfere with administration of justice': AG seeks contempt against Maha Wakf Board

A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, on Tuesday expressed its discontent with Maharashtra Wakf Board for attempting to replace Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, as counsel in the case, in the middle of hearing on an important question - whether all land donated by Muslims for charitable work would come under Wakf.

The Chief Justice said: "This is not correct... is this the way to treat the AG?"

The AG, who appeared virtually, said: "Yesterday, there was a letter that I am not representing (the Wakf Board)... So far this has never happened."

The Chief Justice added: "This is not the way in which you have to behave with the AG."

The AG urged the top court to take the letter on board so that necessary action can be taken. "This cannot happen in the high court."

After a brief hearing, the top court adjourned the matter to August 19.

The AG has also written a letter to the Supreme Court to take strong exception to the action taken by the Wakf Board.

"All this interference with counsel who are 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," said the AG, in his letter to the Registrar (Judicial).

The letter added: "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 the Attorney General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India'."

He also complained that senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who had informed the court on the last occasion that the AG would be leading him and has been instructing him in the matter, has been withdrawn from the case. The AG, citing the constitutional provision, said that it provides him with a right to an audience and he would use that to address the court even if the Wakf Board removed his preferred advocate-on-record.

The AG also said Javed Shaikh, the special counsel appointed by the Wakf Board who has been instructing him in the Wakf Board cases from 2011 and who, in his opinion, is an authority on Wakf law, has been removed from his post.

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