Current Affairs

AG declines RTI request seeking consent to prosecute CM

Advocate General of Goa Atmaram Nadkarni  has declined the request made by Adv. Aires Rodrigues seeking consent to prosecute Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar for his alleged contemptuous statements on October 24th against the Judiciary. As per Section 15 (b) of the Contempt of Courts Act the consent of the Advocate General is required to file a Criminal Contempt petition.

With his application seeking consent, Adv. Aires Rodrigues had submitted to the Advocate General a copy of the newspaper report on the statements made by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar against the Judiciary and also a CD of the 35 minute speech by the Chief Minister on October 24th during which the contemptuous outburst against the Judiciary was made.

Pointing out to the virtual verbal onslaught on the Judiciary by the Chief Minister, Adv. Rodrigues had drawn the Advocate General’s attention that the statements tended to scandalize and lower the authority of the Court.

However while declining to accord his consent the Advocate General has informed Adv. Rodrigues that the background and context in which the reference was made and after perusing the newspaper report and the CD it was found that no case was made out to accord consent for instituting proceedings against Chief Minister Parrikar in terms of the Contempt of Court Act.

Meanwhile, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today stated that as the Advocate General is handpicked by the Chief Minister he was not surprised that the consent has been declined.

Reiterating that Chief Minister Parrikar had ought to know where to draw the line and respect other wings of democracy, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that as a citizen and more so as an officer of the Court he would comply with his bounden duty and place all the relevant material before the Supreme Court, more particularly since the outburst has been directed against the interim Order passed by the Supreme Court on the Mining issue.

Alleging that attempts to brow beat the judiciary into public humiliation by none less than the Chief Minister of the State was a sad reflection of his respect for the Courts and the Constitution, Adv Rodrigues has stated that let the Supreme Court decide whether the statements made by Chief Minister Parrikar  was a Contempt of Court or not.

It may be recalled that in 2003 the Bombay High Court at Panaji had accepted the apology tendered by Manohar Parrikar who was also Chief Minister then, on a petition seeking institution of suo moto contempt proceeding in connection with the alleged observations made by him then about “judges”. A division bench comprising of Justice F I Rebello and Justice P V Hardas in 2003 while accepting the apology tendered by Parrikar had observed, “We may only point out that democracy survives only in those countries where the rule of law prevails and the judiciary is acknowledged as the sentinel for guarding citizen’s rights. To further this constitutional objective constitutional functionaries must accept the role cast on the judiciary in the Constitution and seek to strengthen it.”

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