Attorney General K K Venugopal has refused his consent to a lawyer seeking contempt action against senior advocate Kapil Sibal for alleged "professional misconduct" while arguing in the Supreme Court on a plea regarding the CJI impeachment issue.
The lawyer, in his petition, also said that Mr Sibal had allegedly committed "willful and deliberate contempt of court" by threatening to boycott the court proceedings after his plea for adjourning the Ayodhya case hearing till July 2019 was declined.
The Attorney General, whose nod is pre-requisite for initiation of the contempt proceedings against an individual, in his opinion said, "The issues mentioned in your (lawyer Ashok Pande) request for consent for filing a criminal contempt against Kapil Sibal have been in public domain for a considerable period of time and had finally resulted in impeachment proceedings being rejected by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha."
Mr Vengugopal said, "What is more, the filing of a motion for impeachment was pursuant to a constitutional provision that reached its logical conclusion in a manner known to law. I do not believe that these facts can be a subject matter of contempt."
He said, "I may also add that I do not think it would be in the interest of this institution that is the Supreme Court of India to file a criminal contempt on the facts stated by you. For all the above reason, I decline to give my consent to the filing of the contempt petition."
Mr Venugopal also rejected the request made by lawyer Pande, for oral hearing saying, "the Contempt of Courts Act does not provide for such a hearing to be given."
"In any event, please be rest assured that I have considered all aspects of the matter and the public interest that is involved and I am of the view that this is not a fit case for granting consent for instituting the contempt petition," he said.
The Contempt of Courts Act requires for seeking the permission of the Attorney General before moving the application for prosecution of a person who has committed criminal contempt.
Mr Pande in his petition had cited several incidents to buttress his claim that Sibal was allegedly involved in "professional misconduct" and had committed "willful and deliberate contempt of court" while arguing for two MPs in a plea challenging dismissal of the impeachment motion by the Rajya Sabha chairman.
On May 7, Congress MPs Partap Singh Bajwa (Punjab) and Amee Harshadray Yajnik (Gujarat) had moved the top court challenging the rejection of the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by the Rajya Sabha chairman, claiming that the reasons given were "wholly extraneous" and not legally tenable.
Mr Sibal, who was one of the signatories of the impeachment notice in Rajya Sabha, had appeared for the two petitioner MPs and had mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by then Justice (retd) J Chelameswar.
On December 5, 2017, the Supreme Court had rejected the vehement submissions of Sunni Waqf Board and others that hearing of appeals in the sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute be conducted in July 2019 after the general elections.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.