In a setback to Congress supporter Saket Gokhale, the Attorney General KK Venugopal has declined to give his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against activist-author Shefali Vaidya, reports Live Law.
Saket Gokhale, who claims to be an ardent follower of Gandhi-scion Rahul Gandhi, had sought the permission of the Attorney General to file a contempt petition against writer Shefali Vaidya under Section 15 of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, alleging that she had made some objectionable comments against country’s judiciary.
Responding to the letter received by Congress supporter Saket Gokhale seeking action activist Shefali Vaidya, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the tweets posted by Shefali Vaidya on her Twitter page, which according to Gokhale was contempt of court, were made almost a year back.
Attorney General KK Venugopal Declines Consent to @SaketGokhale to Initiate Contempt Proceedings against @ShefVaidya on the ground of Limitation since her alleged tweet was posted one Yr ago pic.twitter.com/eZ55Qiosmp— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) December 2, 2020
The Attorney General KK Venugopal said that according to the Section 20 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, one cannot initiate any contempt action either suo motu or otherwise after the expiry of one year from the date of the allegedly contumacious conduct.
“In these circumstances, therefore, without going into the merits of your request, no action can be taken against Ms Shefali Vaidya. I accordingly decline consent,” the AG Venugopal said.
The tweets posted by Shegali Vaidya, against which Gokhale wanted to file contempt of court case, were posted in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Last month, he had posted screenshots of the tweets he had targeted, saying that he was “working on an interesting contempt of court petition”. In the tweets, Shefali Vaidya had criticised the apex court on the ban on firecrackers during Diwali, and other contentious observations made in other cases.
Needless to say, Saket Gokhale wanted to file a contempt case against Shefali Vaidya as a retaliatory move after the Attorney General had allowed contempt of case to be filed against left-liberals who had severely criticised the Supreme Court for granting bail to Republic TV Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami.
AG gives consent to initiate contempt action against far-left trolls
The decline of consent by Attorney General KK Venugopal comes a day he had granted his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against comic artist Rachita Taneja for making derogatory remarks against the country’s judiciary.
Terming the comic artist’s grave efforts to malign judiciary, KK Venugopal said that the act was an “audacious assault and insult to the institution”.
A law student had approached the Attorney General urging him to grant the necessary permission to initiate a contempt proceeding against comic artist Rachita Taneja, the founder of web-comic Sanitary Panels, following her two Tweets dated November 11 and 12. Through her cartoons, the comic artist had insinuated a quid pro quo relationship between the apex Court and the central government, alleging that on the govt’s direction, the court granted interim relief to Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
While granting the consent, the AG stated that the tweets by Sanitary Panels has a clear implication that Supreme Court is biased towards the ruling political party BJP, which is somehow interested in protecting Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
Last month, Attorney General KK Venugopal had also granted his consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings against far-left troll masquerading as a ‘stand-up comedian’ Kunal Kamra. A Mumbai based lawyer had sought the Attorney General’s permission to initiate contempt proceedings against Kunal Kamra for his tweets against the Supreme Court after the apex court had granted bail to Arnab Goswami.