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SC issues contempt notice to Katju on his blogpost in Soumya case

Justice Katju who is a former Supreme Court judge also was appearing as the defence counsel of Kerala government.

In an unexpected move,Supreme Court today issued contempt notice to retired judge Markandey Katju on his blogpost over Soumya rape case.

Justice Katju who is a former Supreme Court judge was appearing as the defence counsel of Kerala government.

Supreme Court said Katju’s comments on the top court’s verdict exempting the convict Govindachamy from capital punishment put down the court’s goodwill. SC ordered to escort Katju out of the court.

The former judge responded to apex court’s directive saying if it was the way to behave with a former judge.

On October 17, the top court had asked Katju to appear and debate the Facebook post in which he criticised the judgment by which the accused Govindachamy had escaped gallows in the Soumya rape case in which he was acquitted of murder charge.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and U U Lalit had said, “He (Justice Katju) is a respected gentleman. We request him to come in person and debate his Facebook post criticising the judgment. Let him come to the court and let’s debate over the fundamental flaws in our verdict.”

Experts had said it was for the first time that the Supreme Court has asked its former judge to appear in person before it in connection with any matter.

Katju, in a Facebook post, criticised the top court saying it had grievously erred by “not holding” the convict, Govindachamy, “guilty of murder” in the case.

The bench had also kept the review petitions filed by Kerala and Soumya’s mother in abeyance saying it would debate with Justice Katju on his Facebook post.

“Though arguments have been elaborate and stands concluded, we do not consider it appropriate to express any opinion on the contentions advanced at this stage. This is so because we are of the view that a connected issue which has arisen needs to be resolved in the first instance,” the bench had said, referring to the blog of Justice Katju.

The bench, in its order, said: “Such a view coming from a retired judge of this Court needs to be treated with greatest of respect and consideration. Office to register a suo motu review petition,”

“We issue notice to Justice Markandey Katju, former judge of this Court and request him to appear in Court in person and participate in the proceedings on November 11…as to whether the judgment and order dated September 15 passed by this Bench…suffers from any fundamental flaw so as to require exercise of the review jurisdiction,” the bench had said.

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