HC proposes `contempt charges` against former Gujarat minister

The Gujarat High Court proposed framing `contempt of court` charges against former Gujarat law minister Dilip Sanghani for his alleged derogatory remarks against the judiciary at a public meeting in Jamnagar district in 2012.

PTI| Last Updated: May 07, 2014, 00:10 AM IST

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court proposed framing `contempt of court` charges against former Gujarat law minister Dilip Sanghani for his alleged derogatory remarks against the judiciary at a public meeting in Jamnagar district in 2012.

A two-judge bench of the Court comprising Justice MR Shah and Justice RP Dholeria proposed framing of charges against Sanghani and posted the case for further hearing to June 26.
Sanghani has also filed an affidavit taking preliminary objection against contempt of court proceedings against him.

"The Advocate General has not given his sanction which is required as per law, while the contempt of court case can be filed within a time period of one year," Sanghani`s counsel Advocate Bhaskar Tanna told the court.

Sanghani also said that since he made the alleged speech in 2012, contempt of court charges cannot be framed after a time span of two years.

In July 2012, a petition was filed before the Gujarat High Court, seeking contempt of court proceedings against Sanghani, who was then Gujarat agriculture and law minister, for his alleged remarks that "the judiciary must be kept under control".

Petitioner Rajendra Mistry has alleged that "On June 2, 2012, Dilip Sanghani had made derogatory remarks against the judiciary in public, at a government function in Jamnagar district".
"The then law minister had said that the state government had the sole authority to allocate portfolios to its officers and transferring them," Mistry`s petition said.

"The courts did not have the authority to interfere. It is the responsibility and duty of the Centre to rein in the courts that go beyond the law and constitution," the petition said, quoting Sanghani`s words.

"He uttered many words that can hurt the dignity of
the judiciary," the petitioner said, while demanding contempt of court proceedings against the former Gujarat minister.

Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had sought Gujarat Advocate General Kamal Trivedi`s opinion in the `contempt of court` charges case against the then law minister.

On April 17, Sanghani had to appear before the court at short notice since judges were not satisfied when he sought time to file a reply.

Incidentally, Sanghani was defeated in 2012 assembly election from the Amreli constituency by Congress candidate Paresh Dhanani.