Friday, February 3, 2023

Advocate urges AG to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against retired SC Judge, Advocates for derogatory remarks against judiciary in Nupur Sharma case

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A Delhi-based lawyer has written to Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, seeking his consent to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt against Justice (Retd) S.N. Dhingra and Senior Advocates Aman Lekhi and K. Rama Kumar, for making derogatory remarks against the Indian judiciary on verdict against suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.

The letter, written by Supreme Court lawyer C.R. Jaya Sukin, sought direction from the Attorney General to initiate criminal contempt against Justice Dhingra and the two Senior Advocates, under Section 15 of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 read with Rule 3(c) of The Rules To Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of Supreme Court 1975.

The letter alleged that the remarks made by Justice Dhingra and the two Senior Advocates, intended not only to cast aspersions in the minds of people on the integrity of the Supreme Court, but also attempted to scandalise the nation’s highest judiciary.

Calling the Supreme Court as the first interpreter and the guardian of the Constitution of the country, the letter said the remarks made by these people intended to undermine the Court and its capacity to dispense justice. The comments further scandalised the Apex Court, prejudiced and interfered with the due course of judicial proceedings and administration of justice.

The Advocate then referred to the order passed by the Supreme Court on July regarding a petition filed by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, seeking clubbing of all FIRs lodged against her in different states of the country for making derogatory comment against Prophet

The Vacation Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala had refused to entertain Sharma’s plea and told her Counsel Maninder Singh, “It is for you to decide whether you want to withdraw and go before the High Courts concerned.”

Reacting to the Court’s observations on Sharma, Justice Dhingra, in an interview given to a media channel on July 2, 2022, had said that the Supreme Court has no right to make such remarks. He had further said that the Supreme Court imposed a charge and gave verdict without listening to Nupur Sharma, said the letter.

It further referred to the comments made by Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi. On July 1, Lekhi had said in media Verdictum, “The Supreme Court’s oral observations stating that Nupur is exclusively responsible for the situation defies reality.
Hate mongering is not limited to one community. The observations made by the Court are totally unwarranted.”

The letter further mentioned Senior Advocate K Rama Kumar’s comments at media Verdictum on July 1.

“This is unheard of in the Indian judiciary. The Supreme Court has been reminding all judges of maintaining sobriety and balance in their observation even in written judgements. This is all the more so when observations are made
particularly in the presence of media, who are likely to mislead the statement and create a bad impression. Accordingly to me, this has intensely affected the dignity and prestige of the Court,” said Kumar.

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