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‘I hold judiciary in highest esteem’: Tripura CM after video on contempt of court goes viral

He also said that he holds all judicial institutions in the ‘”highest esteem” and never told officers to disregard courts.
Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb. (File photo)
Updated on Sep 27, 2021 11:40 PM IST
By Priyanka Deb Barman

A day after Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb courted controversy with statements on contempt of court, video of which went viral on social media, Deb on Monday defended himself saying that his speech was distorted and taken out of context.

He also said that he holds all judicial institutions in the ‘”highest esteem” and never told officers to disregard courts.

“The reporting of my speech on 25/9/21 is being twisted and wrongly reported to some print and electronic media to project disregard to the judiciary and judicial institutions. I firmly and unequivocally clarify that I hold all judicial institutions in the highest esteem and am also duty-bound to uphold the majesty of the judiciary. I have not told the officers or even remotely intended to convey any message to disregard courts or disrespect court orders as reported. My words have been published out of context,” Deb wrote on his Facebook on Monday.

In the meantime, an RTI activist, Saket Gokhale, wrote to advocate general of Tripura High Court Siddhartha Shankar Dey and requested court proceedings against Deb for his comments.

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Gokhale has joined Trinamool Congress recently.

In the letter, he said that no person, including the chief minister of a state, is above law, and the order of the judiciary applies to all.

“Your consent is, therefore, sought in this matter to enable the undersigned to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt of court against Sh. Biplab Kumar Deb for the aforementioned comments about the judiciary,” Gokhale wrote in his letter.

No petition was apparently known to have been filed in the High Court. However, no comment from the advocate general was made available on the issue.

Deb, while speaking at a biennial conference of the Civil Service Officers’ Association on Saturday, said that the officers should work for people without thinking about the contempt of court.

His comments went viral on social media, especially after Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee tagged a video clip of Deb’s speech in his tweet on Sunday.

In the video, the CM was seen saying, “Contempt of court is said in such a way as if a tiger is sitting. I am the tiger. The power lies with the person who runs the government. It means that all power lies with the people. We are a ‘by the peoples’ government and not ‘by the court ‘ government.”

He made this comment while speaking on the issue of holding back promotions of public servants following a pending court matter.

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