Chennai

Plea in HC to initiate contempt proceedings against Gurumurthy

S. Gurumurthy  

Multiple petitions were filed in the Madras High Court on Monday for initiating criminal contempt of court proceedings against Tamil magazine Thuglak’s Editor S. Gurumurthy for his comments about the judiciary during the magazine’s annual meet with its readers on January 14.

Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam leader S. Doraisamy and advocate P. Pugalenthi have filed the petitions accusing the Editor of having scandalised the judiciary by claiming that judgeship is obtained by beseeching politicians and hence there was no prompt action against corruption.

While Mr. Doraisamy’s counsel V. Elangovan had approached Advocate General Vijay Narayan for his consent to initiate the contempt proceedings, Mr. Pugalenthi’s counsel M. Radhakrishnan urged the court to initiate the proceedings suo motu without insisting upon A-G’s consent.

Answering a query from one of the magazine’s readers on judicial delay in deciding corruption cases, Mr. Gurumurthy had said even Supreme Court judges get appointed by politicians and that they get appointed only by beseeching one person or the other and by holding on to their feet. However, the next day, he expressed regret for the remark and clarified that his intent “was to say how some candidates for judges for even the highest court go and beseech politicians for support. But in the spur and heat of the moment, I mentioned judges instead of candidates.”

Further, clarifying that the remarks were completely unintended, he had said: “I may add that the statement was in the course of my extempore reply to a provocative question and not in any deliberate article or writing which would show my intent.”

Nevertheless, the contempt petitioner Mr. Pugalenthi, in his affidavit, contended that a bare look at the contents of the remark would clearly reveal that Mr. Gurumurthy’s intention was to lower the esteem of the judiciary in the minds of the public. Yet another lawyer Charles Alexander too made a mention before a Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and P.D. Audikesavalu regarding the remarks.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 7:37:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/plea-in-hc-to-initiate-contempt-proceedings-against-gurumurthy/article33604585.ece

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