Ayodhya case: SC to hear contempt plea of Muslim parties' lawyer



Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Monday agreed to hear the contempt petition moved by the lawyer of the Muslim parties, Rajeev Dhavan, on the threat he received for appearing for his clients.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal moved the application before the court and the CJI agreed to list the matter.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan had filed a contempt petition last week, claiming to have received a letter from a professor in Chennai by the name of N. Shanmugam, threatening him over his appearance for the Muslim parties in the Ayodhya title dispute case.

"The letter was sent C/o. Supreme Court Bar Association and the staff of Supreme Court Bar Association handed over the said letter to the petitioner on August 22, 2019," said the petition.

Dhavan filed the petition through his advocate-on-record Ejaz Maqbool and submitted a letter dated August 23, along with the letter received from Shanmugam for initiating suo moto contempt petition against the professor.

Dhavan said that he had also received a WhatsApp message from one Sanjay Kalal Bajrangi, which he described as an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice by the apex court.

"By sending the letter, the alleged contemnor has committed criminal contempt because he is intimidating a senior advocate who is appearing for a party/parties before the top court and discharging his duties as a senior advocate and he ought not to have sent such a letter and therefore the petitioner is constrained to file the present contempt petition," read the petition.

Dhavan urged the apex court to take suo moto cognizance and initiate contempt proceedings. He said he is not seeking prior permission from the Attorney General of India because he in the earlier round had appeared for Uttar Pradesh in the matters relating to the Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi. 

"Also, the petitioner is not approaching the learned Solicitor General of India because he is appearing in the said matters for the state of Uttar Pradesh," Dhavan said in the petition.

Dhavan also said that in view of the facts, circumstances and the nature of the case, it would not be desirable for the petitioner to approach the Attorney or Solicitor General, seeking permission as prescribed by Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act. He had filed an application for exemption from seeking permission from both the law officers.



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