NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Friday said it was “appalled” to learn that Mahua Moitra‘s counsel contacted lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai and tried to persuade him to withdraw his complaint against the TMC MP.
“I am really appalled. You are a person who is expected to maintain the highest professional standard. You have been in contact with defendant No. 2 (advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai),” Justice Sachin Datta told senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who was representing Moitra in the suit she has filed against BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, Dehadrai and several media organisations. Sankaranarayanan withdrew himself from the matter after the court’s comment.
During the brief hearing, Dehadrai, who appeared in person, said the senior lawyer spoke to him for nearly 30 minutes over the phone and asked him to withdraw the complaint to the CBI in exchange for the dog, Henry. Dehadrai said he had a recording of the conversation and submitted that Sankaranarayanan “can’t appear, there is a very serious conflict of interest”.
Sankaranarayana maintained that Dehadrai had instructed him in the past, and that is why he approached him. “I told my client I will speak with him and she agreed,” he added.
Speaking to the media later, Sankaranarayanan said since he knew Dehadrai, “I had reached out to him yesterday and asked him if there was any way of exploring a settlement. Jai said he would get back to me, but he didn’t”.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on October 31. It was hearing Moitra’s petition seeking directions to restrain Dubey, Dehadrai and several social media platforms and media houses from posting, circulating or publishing any fake and defamatory content against her.
Moitra said Dehadrai was a close friend and the end of their relationship took an acrimonious turn and he “resorted to sending vile, threatening, vulgar messages” to her.

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