The Gujarat high court on Wednesday asked the Narendra Modi government how the contents of a letter the chief minister had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached media.
Modi had written to the PM, demanding Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal be recalled as she had appointed state lokayukta Justice RA Mehta allegedly bypassing the state government. Modi had also sought for the appointment to be quashed.
The court also issued notices to its registrar general, the personal secretary to the chief justice and the lokayukta, seeking their stand on the appointment.
The court has asked the advocate general to file an affidavit answering its query.
The court query followed a petition, which contended that the chief minister going public while the matter was sub-judice amounted to contempt of court.
On August 25, the governor had appointed Mehta. The next day, the Modi government challenged the appointment in the high court. BJP members have even disrupted Parliament proceedings over the issue.
“By consciously disclosing the letter written to the prime minister on a matter of ongoing judicial proceedings, the chief minister has committed criminal contempt,” said lawyer Anand Yagnik, who had moved the petition on behalf of Bhikhabhai Jethva, father of slain Right to Information activist Amit Jethva.
The division bench adjourned the hearing till September 21.
Meanwhile, two other public interest litigations have also been filed on the issue — by Gandhi Sena Trust and the Dhrangadhara Prakruti Mandal.