Apex court threatens Karunanidhi, Baalu with arrestAugust 4th, 2008 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday warned Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and central Transport Minister T.R. Baalu and two others that they would be arrested and dragged to court for ignoring its orders. Tamil Nadu Transport Minister K.N. Nehru and state Transport Secretary Debendranath Sarangi also faced the court’s wrath.
A bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G.S. Singhvi vented its anger against the four for ignoring its Oct 29 notice seeking their replies to a plea to punish them for contempt of court for enforcing a state-wide shutdown Oct 1 to support the construction of a shorter sea route around India’s southern tip by breaching the Ram Setu.
The notices had also been issued to state Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathi and police chief P. Rajendran, who, however, have filed their replies to the contempt of court plea against them.
“Are you above law? Will you dictate (terms) to this court? We will issue arrest warrant against the chief minister and seek his personal presence in the court,” said the bench, peeved at the fact that the four had failed to respond to the court notice despite repeatedly seeking time from the court to file the same.
“What type of people are you? You do not bother about the time schedule (to file the reply),” it said.
The plea to launch contempt of court proceedings against Karunanidhi and others had been filed by AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha, the state’s leader of opposition.
The bench’s remarks came after her counsel Guru Krishna Kumar pointed out to it that Karunanidhi, Baalu, Nehru and Sarangi had failed to file their replies despite repeatedly seeking extension of the deadline to file the same.
Kumar pointed out to the bench that the six who faced the contempt to court notices had last sought extension of deadline to file their replies on March 31, when they were given four weeks time.
Yet barring the state chief secretary and the police chief, others did not bother to file their replies, said Kumar.
The bench as a last opportunity to Karunanidhi, Baalu and the two others asked them to file their replies within another four weeks and adjourned the matter for next hearing on Sep 22.
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