For his alleged contemptuous remarks against judiciary on age controversy
Taking cognisance of an interview given by former Chief of Army General V.K. Singh relating to his age row, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued suo motu notice to him to show cause why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him for his alleged contemptuous remarks against judiciary.
Gen. (retd.) Singh, in his interview published in the Sunday Express, dated September 22, made certain comments attacking the Supreme Court, saying that the court had not gone into the merits of the arguments that he had given on the issue during the proceedings.
Referring to Gen. Singh's statement, the Bench said: “Attributing motives to the members of the Bench amounts to scandalising the court. Prima facie the statement tends to scandalise the judiciary and lowers the authority of the court.” Justice Lodha observed, “We are more concerned about the authority of this court and majesty of law.”
The Bench, in its brief order, said it was issuing notice under Article 129 of the Constitution (relating to contempt power of the Supreme Court) and under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act. The Bench also issued notice to the publisher of the Sunday Express asked Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati to assist the court in hearing the case. The Bench, while seeking his response, posted the matter for further hearing on October 23, when both the contemnors will have to be present in the court.
On February 10, 2012, Gen. Singh withdrew, as not pressed, his writ petition challenging the date of birth entered in his service records. The court had said that having accepted the government’s decision in determining his date of birth (DoB) as May 10, 1950, on three occasions he could not go back on his commitment and claim it as May 10, 1951. The court had made it clear that that the question raised by the former Army Chief in the writ petition was not about the determination of the actual date of birth but it concerned the recognition of a particular DoB by the Defence Ministry in the official service record. The court recorded a statement from Attorney General that the Government of India had not questioned the [then] Army Chief’s integrity or bonafides. The court had said that in view of the statement made by the AG, senior counsel of the petitioner did not want to press the matter further and the writ petition was disposed of as withdrawn.