Mumbai: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Bombay High Court seeking contempt action against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, state home minister Dilip Walse-Patil, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and others in connection with statements made by Raut against the judiciary after the relief given by the HC to BJP leader Kirit Somaiya recently.
The petition is filed by Indian Bar Association and also names the CM’s wife Rashmi Thackeray, being the editor of Shiv Sena’s daily Saamana, in which allegedly objectionable articles on the topic were published. Among other respondents are the daily’s publisher as also the union home minister.
The petition stated that the respondents holding ministerial berths are in power and involved in a campaign of scandalising the entire judicial system only because judgments of the courts are not as per their wish. Their plans to keep opponents in jail or to cause harassment by misuse of power and police machinery failed due to orders of the HC and SC, it said.
Kirit Somaiya exposed frauds committed by party leaders and ministers close to the respondents, it stated, and in some cases he has made allegations against Raut and the CM. It mentioned that as of today, two leaders Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, of the state’s coalition government are in jail in money laundering cases. It said further that Raut made allegations of corruption against Somaiya in the matter of donations he collected in 2013 for INS Vikrant’s restoration. “It is evident that the respondents were expecting the arrest of Kirit Somaiya in the said case,” it said, adding that when the HC gave interim protection from arrest to Somaiya, Raut got annoyed and made defamatory statements against the judiciary saying that people have lost faith in courts. Raut gave interviews on TV channels as well as wrote an editorial on Saamana making these allegations, it said.
The petition further stated that the allegations portray that judges of the Bombay HC are granting reliefs to BJP leaders. Walse-Patil, it said, also made a statement echoing the opinion of Raut.
It said the CM and state HM have taken oath to uphold law and Constitution but have not taken resignation from Malik. The CM has tried his level best to support corrupt ministers by saying that Deshmukh was falsely implicated. The petition said that the double standards and hypocrisy is seen as when the court passed orders in favour of the state and against people who are connected with the BJP like Arnab Goswami, they said justice is done and when the judgment is not as per their wish, they make scandalous allegations. It said due to this honest judges are under tremendous pressure as their every order is being scanned and defamed by them.