Former MLA and activist Paras Saklecha on Monday raised objections to the administrative orders passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court (MPHC) to list the contempt petition filed by him against Chief Justice AM Khanvilkar of MPHC along with the DMAT petition pending before the principal bench at Jabalpur.
Saklecha said, “The decision either taken by Chief Justice AM Khanvilkar or by administrative judge Justice Rajendra Menon is arbitrary, illegal and passed without application of mind. No reasons were stated to club the contempt petition along with DMAT petition, which is concerned with a different subject matter. The contempt petition is not registered, because it is filed against the chief justice. The reasons for non-registration have not been communicated to me.”
Saklecha’s counsel, senior advocate Anand Mohan Mathur said, “As per high court rules, a contempt petition has to be registered as criminal contempt petition and placed before the concerned bench for motion hearing for further action. But since the matter involves chief justice himself, the rules which are in existence for the past 60 years, are flouted.”
The DMAT petition, which is a civil matter and involves different parties, and the contempt petition filed against the chief justice being criminal in nature cannot be clubbed together, said senior advocate Mathur.
Saklecha said, “A fair trial cannot be expected if the case is heard at principal bench at Jabalpur, since no advocate is ready to take up the case against the chief justice. Hence we demand the petition be transferred to Indore bench.”
In the second week of October, the chief justice slammed Saklecha for attending the court proceedings in jeans and t-shirt, and asked him to get out of the courtroom.
Saklecha, in turn filed the contempt petition against the chief justice on October 15, alleging that the chief justice’s action as demeaning the dignity of common man as enshrined under fundamental rights of the Constitution.