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Tamil Nadu Advocate General Declines Consent To Initiate Contempt Proceedings Against Thuglak Magazine's Editor, S. Gurumurthy

Sparsh Upadhyay
1 April 2021 1:40 PM GMT
Tamil Nadu Advocate General Declines Consent To Initiate Contempt Proceedings Against Thuglak Magazines Editor, S. Gurumurthy
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The Advocate General of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday (31st March) declined to grant consent to initiate Criminal Contempt (of Court) proceedings against Thuglak magazine's editor, S Gurumurthy for his remarks, which were made in connection with High Court and Supreme Court judges at a public meeting. Senior advocate S. Doraiswamy, who is practicing in the Madras High Court sought to...

The Advocate General of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday (31st March) declined to grant consent to initiate Criminal Contempt (of Court) proceedings against Thuglak magazine's editor, S Gurumurthy for his remarks, which were made in connection with High Court and Supreme Court judges at a public meeting.

Senior advocate S. Doraiswamy, who is practicing in the Madras High Court sought to initiate contempt proceedings against Gurumuthy by alleging that on 14th January, Gurumurthy made a statement which amounts to criminal contempt as defined in Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

In a public meeting, organized to commemorate the anniversary of Thuglak Magazine, Gurumurthy had commented that "the judges who are now in the court, the judges who are in the Supreme Court, are all appointed by politicians. Many Judges have come by going through someone, referred by someone and falling at the feet of someone. This is one of the things we should be very sad about today, if judges are appointed on merit, this will not be the case."

Declining to grant consent, Advocate General Vijay Narayan observed that no case for criminal contempt was made out against Gurumurthy as the statement was made impromptu at a question-and-answer session and the very next day, a clarification had also been issued by him.

"If the statement is read in its entirety, it would be seen that there was no intention to either scandalise the Court or to interfere with the administration of Justice."

The AG further noted that

"Though some of the remarks pertaining to Judiciary could have been avoided, the statement taken in its entirety was meant to explain the systemic flaws and delays in the enquiry, investigation, administrative, executive and legal process and it was also based on the personal experience of the respondent in pursuing certain cases against politicians."

Advocate General Narayan also referred to a counter-affidavit filed by Gurumurthy in connection with the matter while noting that Gurumuthy's remarks were made in response to a question posed by a reader.

"It was in this context that the answer was given and it was never the intention of the respondent to denigrate the court of the judicial system in any manner but the response was meant to explain the systemic flaws and delays in the enquiry, investigation, administrative, executive and legal process," read the order.

Consequently, the Advocate General opined that no case was made out to initiate Criminal Contempt Proceedings against Gurumurthy.

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