Chidambaram on mobile phone
File photo

AhmedabadDuring the hearing of a case in the Gujarat High Court on Thursday, lawyer and former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s mobile phone began ringing. He was unable to mute it despite a lot of effort. The case pertains to a BJP leader’s dragging Congress’s Ahmed Patel to court on Thursday, questioning his Rajya Sabha election in 2017.

As Chidambaram was unable to mute his phone, judge Bella Trivedi smiled and told him that she usually seizes mobile phones in such situations as they obstruct the judicial work. Chidambaram clarified that he had recently bought this mobile phone and so he did not know how to mute its ring.

An employee of the court then reached out to Chidambaram and helped the former minister, who is arguing in favour of Patel, to mute the mobile.

Several questions were asked by Ahmed Patel for about two hours on Friday on the petition of BJP’s Balwant Singh Rajput. Patel repeatedly tried to excuse himself during his examination by saying he did not remember the entire process involved in the way he was elected to the Upper House of Parliament. The judge told him he should have arrived at the court ready with all the answers.

The court warned Patel that he was not taking the hearing seriously, the Congress leader apologised. Patel said, “I have never appeared in a court. This is the first time that I am facing a court and subjected to questions.”

During the Rajya Sabha election in August 2017, BJP candidate Rajput was defeated by Ahmed Patel.

The Election Commission had declared the votes of two Congress Members of Legislative Assembly Bhola Gohil and Raghavji Patel illegal. Both of them had displayed their votes publicly in addition to showing it to the authorised agents of the party, which is against the rules. However, Patel was declared the winner.

Rajput has challenged the Election Commission’s decision in the high court and demanded that he be declared victorious in that election.