A day after being appointed as amicus curiae in a Supreme Court case, senior advocate Harish Salve has recused himself. For the uninitated, the Supreme Court had on Thursday taken suo motu cognisance of the various crises that have arisen as India's COVID-19 cases rose. The SC had sought a national plan from the Centre and sought to have ongoing cases with various High Courts transferred.
Salve's appointment had triggered a massive controversy, with Opposition leaders hitting out at the apex court over it's decision. While many pointed out that Salve is currently not in India, others reminded that the senior advocate had brought up the Vedanta plant in Tuticorin (during an exchange with the SC on Thursday). Salve had said that the plant could produce large quantities of oxygen if it was allowed to restart.
"I don't want the case to be heard under a shadow that I was appointed because of my school friendship with the CJI. I did not know our bar was divided between advocates who appear for industries and against it. I don't want aspersions to be cast", LiveLaw quoted Salve as saying.
"Please permit to recuse from the case," Salve urged, prompting Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to note that it the controversy surrounding his appointment was "unfortunate". Following the request, Chief Justice SA Bobde has allowed Harish Salve to recuse from the case. They also remarked upon the critical letters written by various senior lawyers in the wake of Salve's appointment, with the CJI stating that the court was "not happy" to read them.