Senior Supreme Court, Justice S.H. Kapadia on Friday recused himself from hearing a case related to a public offer made by London-based Vedanta Resources to buy additional stake in iron-ore exporting form, Sesa Goa.
Justice Kapadia withdrew citing conflict of interest because he is a shareholder of Vedanta’s sister company, Sterlite.
The senior judge, who is likely to replace Chief Justice Balakrishnan after his retirement next year, is the third SC judge to withdraw from a case on account of holding shares in a company.
His decision comes four days after SC judges declared their assets.
Earlier this week, Justice R.V. Raveendran declined to be part of Chief Justice’s bench hearing the case related to gas dispute between Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani’s companies.
Justice Raveendran sought to withdraw on the ground that his daughter works with a law firm providing consultancy services to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited.
On the same day, Justice Markandeya Katju, too, recused himself from a case related to RIL. Justice Katju withdrew even as he had reserved the case for delivering final judgment two months ago.
Contempt notice to senior lawyer
The Supreme Court on Friday issued contempt notice to noted lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan for allegedly casting aspersions on judges, including a senior SC judge and retired Chief Justices of India in an interview to a news magazine.
Bhushan in an interview to Tehelka had made remarks against Justice S.H. Kapadia, who is likely to be the next Chief Justice of India.
He objected to Justice Kapadia’s inclusion in the Forest Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan hearing a matter relating to Vedanta Sterlite Group.
Bhushan had said: “There is a law against judges hearing cases where there is conflict of interest, but they just bypass it and you can’t complain because that would be contempt.”
The court also issued notice to Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-chief of Tehelka and posted the matter for hearing before a Bench not having Justice Kapadia as its member.