Gujarat HC rejects contempt plea on Arun Jaitley

Sep 6, 2013

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court today refused to initiate contempt of court action against the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley over his blog-post on alleged misuse of CBI by the UPA government in Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

The division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari, while disposing of the petition, observed that every citizen enjoys the fundamental right to express opinion.

Arun Jaitley. AFP

Arun Jaitley. AFP

"Expressing his or her opinion, in this case, even through a blog does not constitute contempt of court as every citizen enjoys freedom of expression," said the bench.

Advocate Mukul Sinha, the petitioner, had contended that Jaitley's statements undermined the CBI investigation in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

The senior BJP leader's blog-post tended "to interfere with the administration of justice" as it was written while the Ishrat case was under judicial scrutiny, he had argued.

Jaitley, himself a noted lawyer, posted an article on his blog on June 3, titled `Should CBI uncover the IB'. The CBI, in most cases from Gujarat, was guided by disgruntled group of state policemen accused of indiscipline by the state government, he wrote.

Sinha said that this was tantamount to ridiculing the Gujarat High Court, which was monitoring the probe by CBI.

Mumbai-based girl Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were killed by the Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004. According to CBI, this was a fake encounter, staged by police and some IB officials.


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