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Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal has reportedly declined to give his permission for contempt action against senior advocate Kapil Sibal over alleged “professional misconduct” while arguing on a petition challenging the dismissal of the impeachment motion against the CJI Dipak Misra.
The contempt plea was filed by lawyer Ashok Pande who also alleged advocate Sibal of committing “willful and deliberate contempt of court” on the ground that he threatened to boycott the court proceedings after his adjournment plea – in the Ayodhya case till July 2019 –was declined.
The AG, however, turned down Pande’s plea stating,
“The issues mentioned in your (lawyer Ashok Pande) request for consent for filing a criminal contempt against Kapil Sibal have been in the public domain for a considerable period of time and had finally resulted in impeachment proceedings being rejected by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.”
The Attorney General further added,
“What is more, the filing of a motion for impeachment was pursuant to a constitutional provision that reached its logical conclusion in a manner known to law. I do not believe that these facts can be a subject matter of contempt.”
Mr. Venugopal also said,
“I may also add that I do not think it would be in the interest of this institution that is the Supreme Court of India to file a criminal contempt on the facts stated by you. For all the above reasons, I decline to give my consent to the filing of the contempt petition.”
The AG also refused an oral hearing in the matter requested by lawyer Pande, assuring him that he has taken into consideration all the aspects of the matter and the public interest involved prior to taking such decision.
Initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against a person requires consent of the Attorney General in view of Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act.
Tagged: Chief Justice of India
CJI Dipak Misra
Attorney General KK Venugopal
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