The Supreme Court docket on Friday issued present trigger discover to the Secretary of Maharashtra legislative meeting asking him to clarify in two weeks as to why the contempt proceedings be not initiated towards him for his letter to journalist Arnab Goswami purportedly cautioning him towards disclosing home discover to the highest court docket.
The apex court docket, which additionally granted safety from arrest to the journalist within the Maharashtra meeting breach of privilege movement case, took sturdy observe of lOctober 13 letter of the meeting secretary and mentioned he has prima facie dedicated its contempt.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde expressed anger when senior lawyer Harish Salve, showing for Goswami, referred to the contents of the letter of the meeting secretary to the journalist.
The bench mentioned it was “shocked” that the officer in query has written such a letter stating the meeting proceedings had been confidential and mustn’t have been disclosed.
“It is a severe matter and quantities to contempt.
The above statements are unprecedented and tend to convey the administration of justice into disrepute and in any case might quantity to direct interference within the administration of Justice.
“The intention of the writer of the letter appears to be to intimidate the petitioner as a result of he approached this court docket and to threaten him with a penalty for doing so,” mentioned the bench, additionally comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, through the proceedings held by video conferencing.
“We due to this fact problem discover to respondent no. 2 (meeting secretary) to indicate trigger why he shouldn’t be punished for contempt of court docket in train of energy beneath Article 129 of the Structure of India,” it ordered.
Referring to the writing of the letter, the highest court docket mentioned the meeting secretary “would have been properly suggested to know that the precise to method this court docket beneath Article 32 of the Structure of India is itself a elementary proper.
” It mentioned there was little doubt that if a citizen is deterred in any means from approaching this court docket within the train of his proper beneath Article 32, it will “quantity to severe interference within the administration of justice within the nation.
” The highest court docket took sturdy observe of the truth that the meeting secretary, who was served with Goswami’s plea, selected to jot down the letter to the journalist cautioning him towards disclosing the home discover to the highest court docket as an alternative of placing an look.
“We discover that although respondent has been served as an alternative of getting into look they’ve issued a letter in query to the petitioner,” the bench mentioned.
The highest court docket, in its order, additionally famous that senior lawyer A M Singhvi, showing for Maharashtra, expressed his incapability to “clarify or justify the contents” of the letter of meeting secretary to Goswami.
It additionally appointed senior advocate Arvind Datar as an amicus curiae to help it within the case.
The highest court docket was listening to the plea by journalist Arnab Goswami towards the present trigger discover by the Maharashtra Legislative Meeting for initiation of breach of privilege movement towards him for reportage associated to the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s loss of life.
The present trigger discover has been issued to Goswami for guaranteeing remarks towards Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey in his information debates on Rajput’s case.
The highest court docket was earlier knowledgeable by Goswami’s counsel that it can’t be construed as a breach of privilege.
In its order, the bench had mentioned, There’s nothing improper in summoning by the Meeting but when any motion is taken by the privilege committee then you may problem it.
On September 30, the apex court docket had sought Maharashtra Meeting secretary’s response on Goswami’s plea.
Goswami’s counsel had earlier informed the bench that the journalist has not interfered with both the proceedings of any of the committees of the Meeting or the Meeting itself.
Rajput, 34, was discovered hanging from the ceiling of his residence in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14.
The CBI is probing the case.