Mumbai: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state home minister Dilip Walse Patil, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, and others for allegedly passing remarks against the judiciary.
The petition filed by the Indian Bar Association claimed that the respondents holding ministerial positions have levelled several "false, scandalous and contemptuous" allegations against the judges of the High Court and the entire judicial system.
"This has been done to undermine the majesty and dignity of the court and to shake the faith of the common man towards judiciary, which is the grossest contempt of the court," the plea said.
The PIL has also sought contempt action against Rashmi Thackeray, editor of 'Saamana' newspaper (Shiv Sena mouthpiece) and wife of Uddhav Thackeray, and Vivek Kadam, the printer and publisher of 'Saamana'.
"The respondents/contemnors, who are holding ministerial berths and are in power are involved in a campaign of scandalizing the entire judicial system only because judgments rendered by courts do not suit them," the PIL said.
"Their (respondents) plan to keep their opponents in jail or to cause them harassment by the misuse of power and police machinery are failed due to the orders of this Court and the Supreme Court," it alleged.
The petition is scheduled for hearing on April 26.
The PIL listed various instances wherein comments were purportedly made against the judiciary including the recent comment made by Raut after the high court granted interim protection from arrest to BJP leader Kirit Somaiya in a cheating case.
After the order, Raut allegedly gave interviews and made scandalous statements that the judges of courts, particularly the Bombay High Court, are granting reliefs to BJP members and not granting relief to the accused ministers of their parties, the petition said.
"The contemnors are shouting against the judges of the Bombay High Court by citing the narrative that the courts are granting reliefs to people belonging to BJP but the same reliefs are not being granted to accused ministers, members and leaders of their party," the PIL said.
It further said that the judges are under tremendous pressure since every order passed by them is being scanned and defamed by the contemnors.