AG clears contempt action against Narsinghanand
Attorney general of India KK Venugopal has granted consent to initiate contempt proceedings against controversial Hindu priest Yati Narsinghanand over his remarks made against the Supreme Court in an interview last week.
In the interview, given on January 14, Narsinghanand had said that those who believe in the Constitution, the Supreme Court, the politicians and the Army will “die a dog’s death”. Following this interview, Mumbai-based social activist Shachi Nelli wrote to AG Venugopal seeking permission for initiating contempt action against the controversial Hindu priest.
Narsinghanand is the Juna Akhara Mahamandaleshwar and was arrested on January 16 in connection with the hate speeches and a call for genocide against religious minorities made at a 3-day religious event he organised in Haridwar in December.
The AG’s permission is needed under Rule 3(a) of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court of India, 1975 for bringing a contempt action under the Contempt of Courts Act 1971.
Responding to Nelli’s letter on Friday, AG Venugopal said, “I have gone through your letter and watched the video of the statements made by Yati Narsinghanand which have been explained to me. I find that the statement made by Yati Narsinghanand is a direct attempt to lower the authority of the Supreme Court in the minds of the general public. This would certainly amount to Contempt of the Supreme Court of India.”
Accordingly, he said, “I grant consent to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court in terms of Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act.”
After receiving the response, Nelli tweeted, “The Attorney General has granted consent to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt against Yati Narsinghanand. I will be proceeding accordingly.”