Attorney General Milon K Banerji has refused to give his consent for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for his alleged remarks that if Parliament attack convict Md Afzal Guru is hanged the judges who convicted and sentenced him could be murdered.
Banerji said that Abdullah's remarks did not scandalise the Judiciary in general or the Supreme Court in particular and that it was nothing but his personal view.
A Delhi-based advocate, Rajesh K Gogna, had sought his consent, as required under the statutory provisions to initiate criminal contempt proceedings for Abdullah's comments made in an interview to a TV channel recently.
"In my opinion, no case for criminal contempt is made out within the meaning of Section 20 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. Hence, I decline consent," the Attorney General said.
He said, "It cannot be said that the interview amounted to anything, but a criticism of the judgment, if at all and not of the judges. There are absolutely no improper motives imputed on any of the judges.
"I do not find that there was any malice against the Supreme Court or its Judges in any of the observations.
I do not find anything in the interview which would impair the administration of justice or bring the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, into disrepute," he said.
Banerji said that reading of the entire interview would give an impression that Abdullah was of the view that in the facts of the case, the court should not have inflicted the maximum penalty of death sentence on Md Afzal.
Terming Abdullah's comments as his personal views, he said the interview was never intended and cannot be held to have the effect of shaking the confidence of the public in the institution of Judiciary.
"It does not scandalise the Judiciary in general, or the Supreme Court in particular, and neither are there any disrespectful comments made against the Judiciary," the Attorney General said refusing to give his consent for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against the former chief minister.
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