New delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju moved the Supreme Court on Friday seeking early hearing of a contempt case against him for allegedly using “intemperate” language and “scandalising” the judiciary.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi agreed to look into the submission made by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, on behalf of Justice Katju, who mentioned the matter for early hearing, saying it should be listed before the winter vacation.
To this, the bench said, “You file a proper application and we will look into it”. Dhavan said that he has already file the application.
On November 11, the apex court had issued contempt notice to Justice Katju after taking note of Katju’s statement in a blog and said that it constituted a serious assault on judges and not on the judgement.
Justice Katju had appeared in the court following its October 17 direction asking him to be present and debate his Facebook post criticising an SC verdict by which the convict in Soumya rape case had escaped gallows as he was acquitted of the murder charge.
It had asked him to appear before the court to point out the “fundamental flaws” in the case.
The issue of contempt was raised after the bench had dismissed the review petitions filed by the Kerala government and the mother of Soumya challenging the acquittal of the convict of the murder charge.
Justice Katju had protested against the decision to issue contempt notice and said the judges were threatening him and it was not proper for them to behave in such manner with a former judge of the apex court.
He was summoned as he in his blog had claimed that there was “grave error” in the judgement acquitting the accused in the murder case and he was asked to assist the bench during the hearing of the review petition.
Justice Katju, through his Facebook post on September 15, had criticised the verdict commuting to life the death sentence awarded to Govindachamy for raping 23-year-old sales representative Soumya on February 1, 2011, after she fell out a moving train in Kerala.
While issuing notice to Justice Katju, the bench had also quoted the post which said, “It is regrettable that the court has not read section 300 IPC (culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death) carefully. The judgement needs to be reviewed in an open court hearing.”