The Delhi High Court Monday issued contempt notice to the editor of a Chennai-based, Tamil news magazine for his tweets against Justice S Muralidhar.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Yogesh Khanna initiated contempt proceedings and sought response of Swaminathan Gurumurthy, the editor of the weekly ‘Thuglak’ magazine, and listed the matter for further hearing on December 11.
Gurumurthy is also a part-time director of the Reserve Bank of India.
After the High Court division bench headed by Justice S Muralidhar passed order on October 1, releasing rights activists Gautam Navlakha from house arrest in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case, Gurumurthy had tweeted alleging bias by Justice Muralidhar.
The High Court, which took up the matter after receiving a letter from advocate Rajshekhar Rao who sought contempt action against the scribe, said the tweets and online video making allegations against the judge be taken down.
Rao, in his letter, has stated that the tweet was a deliberate attempt to attack a sitting high court judge.
On October 25, the matter was listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon which said that it be listed before the roaster bench.
Earlier in March this year, the high court had dubbed as “mischievous” certain tweets by the journalist in connection with its decision granting interim protection from arrest to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case. After grant of interim bail to Karti, Gurmumurty had tweeted the innuendo that order was passed by Justice Muralidhar on account of the fact that he was P Chidambaram’s junior.
Taking notice of the tweet, Justice Muralidhar commented in Court next day that he was never a junior of P Chidambaram at any point of time. “It is unfortunate that despite some of the tweets in response clarifying the correct factual position, Mr. Gurumurthy chose not to withdraw his mischievous and false tweet”, Justice Muralidhar remarked.