AG refuses to accord consent to punish Gurumurthy

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Chennai, April 1 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Advocate-General Vijay Narayan has refused to grant consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against columnist and editor of Tamil Magazine 'Thuglak' for his alleged remarks against the judiciary and the judges at a function in January.

'On the facts and circumstances of this case and by application of the law laid down in the three judgments cited above, I do not think that any case is made out to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the respondent (Gurumurthy),' the AG said in his order issued on March 31.

Originally, advocate S Doraisamy sought to initiate contempt proceedings against Gurumurthy.

His case was that at a meeting organised to commemorate the anniversary of the Thuglak magazine on January 14 this year, Gurumurthy made a statement about the judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.

This statement amounted to criminal contempt as defined under Sec. 2(c) of the Contempt Court Act, Doraisamy contended.

Gurumurthy, however, issued a statement the very next day, stating that he mentioned the word 'judges' instead of another word and what happened was unintended and he had always held the judiciary in high esteem.

Accepting the submission and citing several judgments of the Supreme Court and the High Courts on similar issues, AG Vijay Narayan said that if one views the statement made by Gurumurthy in its entirety, it would be seen that the same was made impromptu at a question and answer session.

The very next day, he had issued a clarification. If the statement is read in its entirety, it would be seen that there is no intention either to scandalize the court or to interfere with the administration of justice.

Though some of the remarks pertaining to the judiciary could have been avoided, the statement, taken in its entirety, was made to explain the systematic flaws and delays in the inquiry, investigation, administrative, executive and the legal process and it was also based on his personal experience in pursuing certain cases against the politicians.

'On the facts and circumstances of this case, I do not find any case made out to initiate contempt proceedings against Gurumurthy,' the AG said and declined consent. PTI CORR SA ROH ROH