Ex-HC judge’s comments against SC could invoke contempt proceedings

Justice Dhingra, who retired as a judge of Delhi High Court, termed the Supreme Court's observations in Nupur Sharma's case as 'irresponsible', 'illegal' and 'unfair'.

New Delhi: A plea has been moved before Attorney General K.K. Venugopal seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against former Delhi High Court judge Justice S.N. Dhingra in connection with the Supreme Court’s (SC) observations in the Nupur Sharma case.

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Advocate C.R. Jaya Sukin, in a letter, said in a TV interview Justice Dhingra asserted that the top court has no right to make such remarks and the court imposed a charge and gave a verdict without listening to Sharma. The letter added that Justice Dhingra, who retired as a judge of the Delhi High Court, termed the top court’s observations in Sharma’s case as ‘irresponsible’, ‘illegal’ and ‘unfair’.

Sukin also sought similar action against former Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi and senior advocate K. Rama Kumar, who also questioned the top court’s observations.

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On July 1, the top court slammed Sharma for her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad and said she single-handedly is responsible for trouble in the country. The apex court noted that her outburst is responsible for the unfortunate incident at Udaipur, related to the brutal killing of a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal on June 29.

The letter said: “Justice S.N. Dhingra, Senior Advocates Aman Lekhi and K. Rama Kumar statements published in all electronic media, TV channels and social media. All above three persons made irreparable injuries to Indian judiciary and the nation by unparliamentary statements and derogatory remarks hence fall within the scope of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.”

Sukin said the three attempted to scandalise the nation’s highest judiciary and insult the apex court, casting aspersions in the minds of people on the integrity of the Supreme Court (SC). “That the statements above mentioned and publication thereof scandalise the Supreme Court, prejudices and interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings and administration of justice,” added the letter.

Sukin said the Supreme court is the first interpreter and the guardian of the Constitution and it is appalling to see the lack of faith and sheer contempt being expressed towards the fundamental frameworks of this country.

He sought AG’s consent to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt against Justice Dhingra, Lekhi and Kumar, 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.

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Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. It was founded in 1986 by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the "India Abroad News Service" and later renamed. The service reports news, views and analysis from the subcontinent about the country, across a wide range of subjects.
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