A Petition has been filed before the Advocate General of Kerala seeking sanction to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Yahya Thangal, a Kerala leader of the Popular Front of India(PFI), for his remarks against the Judges of the Kerala High Court.
The Petition has been filed by Advocate Arun Roy, seeking sanction to prosecute the PFI leader for his remarks made on two separate occasions.
Yaha Thangal had said on Saturday (May 28) while addressing a public gathering that the Judges of the Kerala High Court are feeling heat regarding the slogans raised by a child in a PFI rally since they wear saffron undergarments. He had also said during his speech that the Judge of Kerala High Court, who granted bail to Ex-MLA P. C. George in the hate speech case, was a junior of the then BJP leader and the current Governor of Goa, P. S. Sreedharan Pillai.
On Thursday, the Kerala High Court had observed in its order that the persons who organised the PFI rally should be implicated as accused in the cases registered against the hateful slogans raised by a child in the rally.
As per the Petition, Yahya Thangal had made similar remarks against Judges of the Kerala High Court earlier in February. As per the Petition, he had said while addressing a public rally that the case challenging the restriction on the transmission of MediaOne news channel was decided by a Judge who was earlier a leader of a Lawyers’ organisation.
A Single Bench of the High Court had declined to interfere with the denial by the Central Government of renewal of the licence to MediaOne news channel, and the Division Bench had upheld the decision. The appeal before the Supreme Court is still pending.
The Petitioner has alleged that Yaha Thangal had said that the government knew what judgment was going to be passed in the MediaOne case. He had also allegedly said that Judges who are waiting to go to the Supreme Court would not speak against the Government, in the context of the MediaOne case.
“Yahya Thangal, in his latest speech, has made a very serious and totally baseless allegation of political or ideological bias against a Judge of the Hon’ble High Court, using derogatory language. He has attributed such a motive to the Judge for delivering an Order. He has also insinuated that another Judge of the Hon’ble High Court has passed an Oder because he was a junior to a lawyer who was also a BJP leader. The insinuation is that the order was so delivered because of the Judge’s past relationship with a BJP leader,” says the Petition.
The Petition also says that Thangal had also made insinuations against Judges of the Supreme Court who delivered the Judgment in the Ayodhya – Babri Masjid case. “In his earlier speech, Yahya Thangal has insinuated that one of three Judges who were involved in the MediaOne case passed the Judgement because of his prior affiliation with a lawyers’ organisation. Equally, he has insinuated that a Judge passed the Judgement that is not “against” the Government because he is awaiting elevation to the Supreme Court. His insulation also being that the Government controls or decides elevations of Judges to the Supreme Court. Additionally, he has expressly said that the Judiciary is working against Muslims. He has also made insinuations against the five Judges of the Supreme Court who delivered the Judgment in the matter of M Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das”, says the Petition.
The Petition says that the PFI leader has spoken not only against 5 individual Judges of the Kerala High Court but also against the institution of the Judiciary as a whole.
“His words, by no stretch of imagination, can be termed as ‘fair criticism’ of any judicial decision. Even assuming that a judgment is wrong on facts or law, it is not ‘fair criticism’ to allege motives against the Judges who passed judgment.”, the Petition says.
The Petitioner also says that if such acts go unquestioned and unpunished, it will shake the faith of the general public in the institution of the Judiciary in the country. “As an Advocate, an officer of Court, the Applicant feels that it is his duty to pursue this course,” says the Petition.
Yesterday, while speaking at a function, Justice N. Nagaresh of the Kerala High Court had reacted to the contumacious remarks of Thangal. “I was shocked and amazed when someone made a comment that the colour of the undergarments of judges is saffron”, “The show goes on, everybody enjoys such remarks. We must introspect”, the Judge had said.