Delhi HC Asks Gurmurthy If He Is Willing To Apologize For Remarks Against Justice Muralidhar
The Delhi High Court on Thursday accepted unconditional apologies tendered by three respondents in a contempt case initiated for remarks against Justice Muralidhar.
The bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal noted that the respondents have stated they hold Justice Muralidhar in high regard. The court also directed them to be "more careful in future".
Swaminathan Gurmurthy, an economic analyst and editor of Tamil weekly 'Thughlak', is another respondent in the contempt case.
The suo moto proceedings were taken in respect of an article titled 'Why has Delhi High Court Justice Muralidhar's relationship with Gautam Navlakha not been disclosed?' which was published on a blog called 'Drishtikone'. The article had alleged that the friendship between Justice Muralidhar's wife and Navlakha was the reason for the bench headed by Justice Muralidhar quashing the transit warrant issued against him in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The author of the article, the owner of the web portal which published the article and a twitter user who tweeted the article tendered unconditional apologies to the Court.
The Court asked Gurumurthy, who had re-tweeted the article, if he was willing to apologize. At this, his counsel Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethamalani said that he will get instructions.
The court noted that except Gurumurthy, who was nominated as a part time director of the Reserve Bank of India by the Central Government last August, other respondents have filed an unconditional apology and have also deleted the tweet/article/publication. These respondents have been removed from the array of parties.
S Gurumurthy, who has a twitter following of over three lakhs, is facing another contempt case which was initiated for his comments that Justice Muralidhar passed a favourable order for Karti Chidambaram because he was once a junior of Karti's father Senior Counsel P Chidambaram.
Justice Muralidhar later said that he was never a junior of P Chidambaram.
Justice Muralidhar said, "Being the editor of a magazine that has a wide readership in Tamil Nadu, had Mr. S. Gurumurthy cared to check, he could easily have ascertained that the presiding Judge of this Bench was a junior of Mr. G. Ramswamy, who then was the Additional Solicitor General of India and who later was the Attorney General for India. At no time did the presiding Judge work as a junior to Mr. P. Chidambaram, Senior Advocate, the father of the Petitioner. It is unfortunate that despite some of the tweets in response clarifying the correct factual position, Mr. Gurumurthy chose not to withdraw his mischievous and false tweet".