No Contempt Proceedings Against Ex-Judges Who Criticised Two Bench Observations On Nupur Sharma

by PTI - Jul 14, 2022 01:56 PM +05:30 IST
No Contempt Proceedings Against Ex-Judges Who Criticised Two Bench Observations On Nupur Sharma Supreme Court of India (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Attorney General K K Venugopal has refused sanction to initiate contempt proceedings against former Delhi High Court judge S N Dhingra and two others for criticising the Supreme Court over its oral observations against suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.

In a letter, advocate C R Jaya Sukin had sought the AG's consent to initiate criminal contempt of court against Dhingra, former additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi and senior advocate K Rama Kumar for calling the top court's observations in Nupur Sharma's case 'irresponsible, illegal and unfair'.

Venugopal said the statements made by the three people were neither "vituperative or abusive" nor were they likely to interfere with the administration of justice by the Supreme Court.

"It may be noted that the Supreme Court, in a large number of judgements, has held that fair and reasonable criticism of judicial proceedings would not constitute contempt of court," the AG said in his letter.

Venugopal said he was not satisfied that the criticism made by the three people named in the letter was with malice or an attempt to impair the administration of justice.

"I am not satisfied that the criticism made by the three persons named in your letter is with malice or is an attempt to impair the administration of justice, or that it was a deliberate and motivated attempt to bring down the image of the judiciary. In the circumstances, I accordingly decline consent to initiate proceedings to criminal contempt of the Supreme Court," he said.

A vacation bench of justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala had on July 1 severely reprimanded Sharma for her comment against Prophet Mohammad, saying her "loose tongue" has 'set the entire country on fire' and that she was "single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country."

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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