Attorney General KK Venugopal has declined consent to initiate criminal contempt charges against a former Delhi high court judge and two senior advocates who openly criticised observations passed by the Supreme Court while turning down a plea by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma, in which she urged to club all criminal cases filed across the country over her alleged derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammad.
“The statements (by the three persons) are not vituperative or abusive nor are they likely to interfere with the administration of justice by the Supreme Court of India… The Supreme Court in a large number of judgments has held that fair and responsible criticism of judicial proceedings would not constitute contempt of court,” the AG said in written communication on Wednesday.
“I find that the statements made by the three persons are in the realm of fair comment on a hearing conducted by the Supreme Court,” Venugopal said while responding to a request received earlier this month from lawyer CR Jaya Sukin, demanding a criminal contempt case against the three.
The former judge and two senior lawyers made the statements in connection with a July 1 observation by an SC bench of justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala, who blamed Sharma’s “loose tongue” for the incidents of violence following her remarks, which included the beheading of a tailor in Udaipur last month.
“She is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country…her loose tongue has set the entire country on fire,” the bench said. The court even demanded she apologises to the nation and wondered why she has not been arrested so far.