Attorney General K.K. Venugopal on Friday gave consent to a plea to initiate contempt proceedings against Yati Narsinghanand, under arrest in the Haridwar hate speech case, over his derogatory remarks against the Constitution and the Supreme Court.
The prior consent of the top law officer is mandated in law to file a criminal contempt petition in the Supreme Court.
Mr. Venugopal gave the consent on the basis of a letter addressed by Shachi Nelli. Ms. Nelli brought to the attention of the law officer Narsinghanand's alleged statements in an interview that went viral on social media on January 14.
"I have gone through your letter and watched the video of the statements made by Yati Narsinghanand," Mr. Venugopal wrote in his reply on January 21.
Mr. Venugopal said the man's statements "is a direct attempt to lower the authority of the Supreme Court in the minds of the general public. This would certainly amount to contempt of the Supreme Court of India".
The tipping point, as apparent in the AG's letter, seems to be Narsinghanand's statement that "those who believe in this system, in these politicians, in the Supreme Court, and in the Army will all die the death of a dog".
This statement was highlighted in the top law officer and constitutional authority's response granting consent for criminal contempt action against Narsinghanand.