Centre, Tamil Nadu anxious over AIADMK contempt plea
New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The central and the Tamil Nadu governments Friday betrayed their anxiety over the possibility that the apex court may initiate contempt of the court proceedings against state Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for the Oct 1 state-wide shutdown despite the court’s order.
The two governments pressed a battery of lawyers, including Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh and senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi before the bench of Justices B.N. Agarwal and P.P. Naolekar at the time of “mentioning”, when the court is apprised of new petitions pending before it.
As the petition by AIADMK, seeking the contempt proceedings against Karunanidhi and others, came up for “mentioning” before the bench, Vikas Singh took to his feet and began opposing the petition even before the AIADMK counsel Guru Krishna Kumar opened his mouth.
“My apprehension is that they have chosen this court to mention this petition for political purposes,” said Singh, betraying the anxiety of the government.
It was Justice Agarwal’s bench which had ordered the Tamil Nadu government, during an extraordinary hearing on Sep 30, a Sunday, to desist from enforcing a state-wide shutdown on Oct 1, the next day.
But as the state witnessed a virtual shutout on Oct 1 and the AIADMK counsel accused the government of violating the court order, Justice Agrawal had, in an angry reaction, gone to the extent of threatening the Tamil Nadu government with dismissal and initiation of contempt proceedings against the chief minister.
As a follow up of the issue, the AIADMK filed a petition before the apex court, urging it to launch contempt proceedings against DMK Chief Minister Karunanidhi as well as union Minister T.R. Baalu, also of the DMK, for enforcing the shutdown.
Justice Agarwal Friday found it a trifle awkward that the petition had come up for mentioning before him and asked the AIADMK counsel to explain how it came up for mentioning before him. He said the petition should have been “mentioned” before the Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan’s bench.
At this, Kumar explained to the bench that he had merely asked the court’s registry to list his petition for “mentioning” Friday and he did not know why it was listed before the particular bench.
Justice Agarwal asked the AIADMK counsel to let it come up for hearing on the slated date, Oct 29, as there was no urgency in the matter.
But during the hearing, Justice Agarwal indicated that the petition could well spell trouble for Karunanidhi.
Justice Agarwal said: “What we observed the other day (Oct 1) were while hearing you orally. If the facts (in your contempt petition) are correct, a case of contempt is made out and we would issue notice, otherwise we would dismiss it.”
“But we are yet to apply our mind to the issue,” Justice Agarwal added.
Apex court to hear AIADMK’s contempt plea on October 29
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed that a contempt petition filed by the AIADMK against Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathi and others for allegedly violating the order prohibiting the enforcement of bandh in the State on October 1 be listed for hearing on October 29.
When AIADMK counsel Guru Krishnakumarsought early hearing before a Bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice V.S. Sirpurkar, the judges asked, “What is the urgency in this matter?”
Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh, appearing for the State Chief Secretary, raised a preliminary objection to AIADMK counsel ‘mentioning’ the matter when the petition was listed for hearing on October 29. “Our anxiety is that this court is used for political purposes.”
Justice Agrawal told Mr. Krishnakumar: “You have already brought to our notice about the alleged violation. We made the [oral] observations [on October 1] based on what you said.” Counsel submitted, “What we have filed is something more than what I said.”
Justice Agrawal said: “You may be right if the facts are correct. It may be a sensational matter to you. For us we treat all matters alike. You want to mention before us because this is a sensational matter. If there is violation suitable orders can be passed. We have to read the papers and apply our mind. If a case is made out, we may issue notice, otherwise we will dismiss it.”
Counsel then told the court, “We wanted to inform you about the happenings at the earliest. There is no other intention.” Thereafter, the Bench directed the matter to be listed on October 29.
The petition, filed by AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudhanan, has also named as respondents/contemnors Director General of Police P. Rajendran, Transport Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Transport Minister K.N. Nehru. It has named Union Minister T.R. Baalu as a respondent for allegedly making certain remarks criticising the judiciary.