A-G grants consent for contempt proceedings against DMK MP Bharathi

 TAMIL NADU

A-G grants consent for contempt proceedings against DMK MP Bharathi

Advocate-General Vijay Narayan on Monday granted his consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings against DMK MP R.S. Bharathi before the Madras High Court for his reported remark that people from the Scheduled Castes were able to become judges in the State because of the alms extended by the Dravidian party.

The Advocate-General agreed with petitioner A. Antony Raj’s counsel Naveen Kumar Murthi that the speech delivered by Mr. Bharathi, at a meeting organised by Kalaignar Reading Circle in Chennai on February 14, 2020, prima facie scandalises or tends to scandalise the court and therefore it must be placed before a Division Bench for consideration.

Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, requires the Advocate-General’s consent before initiating criminal contempt proceedings against any individual in order to avoid frivolous, vexatious or motivated complaints. Though Mr. Bharathi accused Mr. Raj of being an AIADMK member, the Advocate-General concluded that it could not be a reason to turn down his request.

“If the statements attributed to the respondent are found to be true and the statements would constitute criminal contempt, then it would be difficult to hold that the petition was actuated by malice. Malafide is the antithesis of guilt and if a person is guilty, it would lie in his mouth to state that the initiation of proceedings was malafide,” the Advocate-General’s order read.

The Advocate-General said the accurate English translation of the Tamil speech delivered by Mr. Bharathi read: “North Indians are fools. I am telling it openly. Not even a single Harijan is a High Court judge in Madhya Pradesh. Not until today. But in Tamil Nadu, after Kalaignar took charge of government, one Varadarajan was made to sit as a High Court judge.

“After that, if seven to eight Adi Dravida community people are sitting as High Court judges, it is the charity and alms extended by the Dravidian party. Today, the ‘avva’ have entered again in the High Court and with heartburn I am telling, the Supreme Court of India has become a tent of the RSS and I am telling this because I am a lawyer and I am frustrated.”

After citing the observations made by the Supreme Court, in its verdict on contempt of court proceedings initiated against advocate Prashant Bhushan last year, that attacks made against the judiciary must be dealt with firmly, the Advocate-General said the petition filed by Mr. Raj was neither frivolous nor vexatious nor motivated.

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