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Property dispute: Supreme Court flays Lalit Modi for social media post against Mukul Rohatgi

The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi for making derogatory comments against Senior Advocate and former Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, who was representing his mother Bina Modi in a property dispute case.

The Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice M.M. Sundresh, while refusing to pass a written order, orally directed Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing Modi, to use his ‘good office’ and advise his client to take ‘remedial measures’. 

The Apex Court observed that whenever two parties involved in a litigation took their fight to a public forum, it became detrimental to both the parties and led to retaliation in a similar manner. 

Stating that both the parties in the case were mature enough to understand not to give in to such outbursts, the top court of the country directed Modi to remove the social media posts made by him against his family members and Rohatgi. 

The Bench further observed that the legal battle between the two parties was entirely separate and directed them not to involve their lawyers in personal matters.

The Counsel for Modi apprised the Apex Court that the post made against Rohatgi has been taken down.

Earlier on January 19, the Apex Court had agreed to hear the property settlement dispute related to Modi’s family on January 27, after Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal apprised the Court that the IPL founder had passed derogatory comments against Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi on social media.

While handing over the transcripts of the statements to the Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Sibal said that Modi had levelled baseless allegations against Rohatgi on social media, despite giving an undertaking to the top court of the country that he would refrain from making such statements.

When the CJI told the Senior Advocate that the matter was posted for hearing on February 14, Sibal requested for an earlier date in the case, so that an order could be passed to take down the statements. He contended that this behaviour by Modi could not be allowed, since it violated this court’s previous order.

The IPL founder, who is currently living in the United Kingdom, had recently made certain remarks on his Instagram page against Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi over the latter calling him a ‘fugitive’.

He later posted another message on Instagram, apologising for his comments against Rohatgi.

Modi had moved the Apex Court by way of a special leave petition against the Delhi High Court judgment, which held that the anti-arbitration suit filed by his mother Bina Modi and siblings pending in the Supreme Court was maintainable.

Earlier, the top court of the country had directed the parties to resolve the matter through mediation.

(Case title: Lalit Kumar Modi vs Dr. Bina Modi & Ors)

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