The Rajasthan High Court on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on a PIL seeking suo moto criminal contempt proceedings against him with regard to his remark suggesting “corruption” in the judiciary.
A division bench headed by Justice M M Shrivastava and Justice Ashutosh Kumar heard the matter on Saturday and issued the notice to Gehlot, directing him to respond within three weeks.
The allegations made by the CM are against the judiciary as a whole and prima facie seemed to scandalise the courts. The PIL filed by local advocate Shivcharan Gupta on Thursday sought initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the chief minister.
'Corruption is rampant in the judiciary'
Gehlot had told the media on Wednesday that “Corruption is rampant in the judiciary”. “I have heard that some lawyers themselves take the judgement in writing and the same judgement is pronounced,” he had said.
However, after facing criticism, the chief minister later clarified that what he had said was not his personal opinion and that he has always respected and believed in the judiciary. Hundreds of advocates boycotted work in the high court and lower courts in Jodhpur on Friday, to protest the chief minister's comment.
Gehlot's allegations seemed to scandalise the courts
The allegations made by the Chief Minister are against the judiciary as a whole and prima facie seemed to scandalise the courts, the bench said, according to Bar and Bench.
“The contents of the statement, if made by the respondent (Gehlot), prima facie make out a case that it tends to scandalize the Courts because it does not refer to any particular case or category of cases, but general in nature against the judiciary as a whole," the court said.
“We are inclined to seek response of the respondent with regard to the statement which are attributed to him in this petition on the basis of the newspaper report,” it directed.