The Madras High Court judge, who had created a stir on Monday by alleging in open court that a Union minister from Tamil Nadu was pressurising him to grant bail to an accused, has withdrawn from the case.
On Tuesday, Justice R. Reghupathy referred the case to Justice H.R. Gokhale, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, for posting it before another bench for “appropriate orders”.
He did not, however, reveal the identity of the Union minister who allegedly called him up. However, according to the grapevine in the corridors of the court, the minister concerned is allegedly from the DMK.
The case pertained to the anticipatory bail petition of S. Kirubha Sridhar, a third-year MBBS student at a private medical college in neighbouring Puducherry, and his doctor-father C. Krishnamurthy.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigation the father-son duo for allegedly bribing a Pondicherry University employee to increase Sridhar’s marks in the ophthalmology paper, which he had failed.
The CBI had arrested the university employee and a middleman in May 2009 and the probe is on.
Reghupathy had even declared in court that he would directly write to the Prime Minister if the lawyer representing Krishnamurthy and Sridhar did not apologise.
HT has learnt that the advocate concerned did express his regrets to the judge.
In Delhi, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan told a TV channel that ministers should refrain from contacting judges in matters pending in courts. He said interfering in judiciary was not a good practice.
“I would verify the case. Let me verify the case first then I can comment on it. It is only through media that I came to know that this particular thing has happened,” Law Minister Veerappa Moily said, when asked for comments.
The BJP demanded that the minister concerned be sacked. The prime minister should probe the charges, spokesman Ravishanker Prasad said.