Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra's lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan recused himself from the defamation case against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey. The move came after that the Supreme Court learned that Moitra's lawyer had approached Jai Anant Dehadrai asking him to withdraw the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint against Moitra in exchange for his pet dog Henry.
'Serious conflict of interest'
Sankarnarayanan admitted to have contacted Dehadrai after the latter alleged that Sankarnarayanan asked him to withdraw the CBI complaint against Moitra in exchange of pet rottweiler Henry. Dehadrai, who Moitra described as her "jilted ex" in the letter in response to Darshan Hiranandani's affidavit, also accused the TMC MP of "kidnapping" his pet dog pet dog Henry.
"There is something very disturbing. There is very serious conflict of interest. He had a 30 minute call with me. He asked me to withdraw the CBI complaint in exchange for the dog. He can't appear in the matter i have the recording," Dehadrai told the Court.
Justice Sachin Datta 'appalled' by allegation
Upon hearing Sankaranarayanan agree that he indeed sought withdrawal of the complaint from Dehadrai, Justice Sachin Datta said he "was appalled".
"I am really appalled. You are a person who is expected to maintain the highest professional standard. If you have been in contact with Defendant No 2..It means you have played the role of a mediator. Do you think you can appear in this matter," the Court asked.
Sankaranarayanan then decided to withdraw himself of the defamation suit.