Ayodhya-Babri Masjid Case: Lawyer Moves SC For Criminal Contempt after threats

New Delhi, Aug 30: Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Muslim parties in the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid dispute, has filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court seeking action for criminal contempt against a Chennai- based professor for sending a threatening letter to him.

Dhavan said that he received a letter from Prof. N. Shanmugam threatening him for appearing for the Muslim parties. “This letter was sent c/o the Supreme Court Bar Association and the staff of the Supreme Court Bar Association handed over the said letter to the petitioner on August 22, 2019,” the petition said.

Filing the petition through his Advocate-on-Record Ejaz Maqbool, he submitted a letter dated August 23, 2019 along with the letter received from Prof Shanmugam, for initiating suo moto contempt petition against him.

Dhavan also submitted that he had also received a WhatsApp message from Sanjay Kalal Bajrangi which, he described as an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice before 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,” the petition said.

Dhavan urged the apex court to take suo moto cognizance and initiate contempt proceedings.

He said that he is not seeking prior permission from the Attorney General because he, in the earlier round, had appeared for Uttar Pradesh in the matters relating to the Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi site. “Also, the petitioner is not approaching the learned Solicitor General for 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 nature of the case, it would not be desirable for the petitioner to approach the Attorney General or Solicitor General seeking permission as prescribed by Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act and filed an application for exemption from seeking permission from both law officers

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