A petition seeking sanction to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against former judge of Kerala High Court R. Basant, whose controversial remarks on Suryanelli rape case victim has sparked off protests, was filed before the State Advocate General.
Petitioner M. Prakash, a former employee of the high court, stated that the remarks made by Justice Basant were ‘irresponsible’, not befitting the position he had held as a high court judge.
In per se, it was a criminal contempt of judiciary, the petitioner charged and said the prestige of judiciary had been lowered in the eyes of the general public.
The petitioner has moved the Advocate General as his sanction is required for filing criminal contempt cases.
Justice Basant had along with Justice K.A. Abdul Gaffoor, delivered the judgement in the case in 2005 acquitting 35 accused and the sentence of only one accused, Darmarajan, had been upheld. The Supreme Court had recently quashed the acquittal.
A television channel had two days ago aired a footage in which the former judge stated that the victim of Suryanelli case was used for child prostitution, which was not rape.
The remarks had drawn widespread protests in the State on Sunday with DYFI, Yuva Morcha and women’s organisations protesting and burning his effigies in various parts of the State. The issue was also raised in the Assembly on Monday by opposition LDF which wanted the judge to be booked.