New Delhi : Chief Justice of India R M Lodha on Monday took strong exception to a plea that he should recuse him-self from hearing an inter-state dispute involving Rajasthan as he hailed from the state.
“I am born in India and I am an Indian first more than Rajasthani,” Justice Lodha said when senior advocate Harish Salve wondered whether the CJI would recuse from the case. “I am sorry to hear this, particularly since the suggestion is coming from a senior advocate and person of such vast experience,” the CJI said when the matter relating to a water dispute among two northern states was cited before the bench.
Salve then clarified that he has no problem if the matter is being heard by the CJI and said that it would set a good precedent. The CJI said he did not have problem in recusing himself from the case but “I am sorry to hear that I have to recuse just because I am from Rajasthan”. Justice Lodha recalled that he has worked in Bombay High Court for 13 years, and this does not mean that he should opt out of cases coming from Maharashtra.