SC issues contempt notice to Modi, exempts him from personal appearance (Update-Modi Verdict)

December 12th, 2007 - 9:38 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec 12 (ANI): The Supreme Court today issued contempt notice to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for “inflammatory” remarks that he made in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
The apex court has, however, exempted Modi from appearing personally in the court.
The notice was issued on a couple of petitions filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar and Rubabuddin Sheikh, brother of the fake encounter victim, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Modi and a probe into his alleged complicity in Sohrabuddin’s November 2005 killing by the state police in a staged gun battle.
“The notice is for contempt as well as transferring these cases for investigation to CBI and therefore Modi will have to explain why his statement does not amount to contempt, why his statement does not amount to obstructing the course of justice in the Sohrabuddin case both pending before the Supreme Court as well as before the trial. He will also have to explain why under these circumstances the case or investigation should not be transferred to CBI,” said Prashant Bhushan, counsel of Javed Akhtar.
The apex court bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Dalveer Bhandari issued the notice after a five-hour argument by counsels of various parties, including the Gujarat government counsel Mukul Rohtagi. The court has not set any date for him to reply. But, the notice will be a dampener who is fighting an electoral battle in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, Sohrabuddin’s brother Robabuddin Sheikh said he they would not get justice if the case was taken up in Gujarat. “If the case is taken up in Gujarat then we will not get justice because they have already tried to mishandle the chargesheet, and the rest of the accused in the case like Sanjay Karvi will remain away from the investigation,” he said.
Appearing for Modi, senior lawyer and BJP leader Arun Jaitley had requested the apex court to postpone hearing till the Gujarat assembly elections get over. But the court brushed aside his demands and issued the notice today itself.
At an election rally in Jamnagar District on December 4, Modi admitted that Sohrabuddin’s encounter did happen in Gujarat, saying the latter got what he deserved.
“Yes, Sohrabuddin’s encounter happened in Gujarat, and if Sonia Gandhi wants, she can hang me for this,” said Modi.
Sohrabuddin was reportedly gunned down on November 26, 2005 after being branded a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant by the state police, allegedly trying to hatch a conspiracy to kill Modi. The cops also allegedly killed Sohrabuddin’s wife, Kausar Bi.
On December 8, Gujarat government’s former counsel in the Supreme Court, K T S Tulsi, had said Modi’s remarks justifying killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh was completely opposite to the stand taken by the State government in the apex court.
The Gujarat Government had submitted to the apex court that the encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh by the state police in November 2005 in Gujarat was “fake”. (ANI)

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