Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhawan, who was recently reprimanded by the Chief Justice of India for speaking in ‘loud tone’, has taken a retirement from court practice. In a strongly-worded letter to CJI Dipak Misra, Dhawan wrote, “You are entitled to take back the Senior Gown conferred on me, though I would like to keep it for memory and service rendered.” CJI Misra had last week voiced strong objection to the conduct of certain Senior Counsel raising their voices during hearing at the conclusion of Delhi government’s plea and also the Ayodhya matter. Born in 1946, Dhawan is a respected name in Indian legal circle. He is a human rights activist and a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists. Dhawan has also authored and co-authored a number of books on legal and human rights and is a regular columnist in leading newspapers in India, including The Indian Express.
Some reports say that Dhawan had a series of tiffs with various judges at the Supreme Court. In 2013, while the hearing of the high-profile 2G scam case was on, Dhavan had hit out at Justice GS Singhvi for refusing to hear a case and recusing from the matter. Dhawan reportedly didn’t like bench’s decision of deferring the case. In 2014, he reportedly had a tiff with the Bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar resulting in strong observations against his conduct.
Again, Dhawan had a spat with Chief Justice of India TS Thakur in the same case twice – in 2014 and 2016. Later, Thakur even said that some lawyers are discourteous in court.
Recently, he had a spat with Chief Justice Dipak Misra in the Ayodhya case and in Delhi government’s power sharing case. As per reports, these lawyers had angrily expressed that they were not given a “fair chance” and had threatened to walk out of the court. The CJI had reprimanded several senior lawyers, including Dhawan and Kapil Sibal. “Raising voices will never be tolerated. Argue on legal principles. Raising voice shows incompetency not worthy of senior lawyers,” he said, adding, “When the Bar fails to regulate them, we will be compelled to regulate.”