Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday said any person, irrespective of who he or she is, disrespecting, disregarding and maligning the court and judges will face serious consequences provided adequate details regarding the contemptuous statement is submitted.
A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel was hearing a petition filed by advocate Ejaz Naqvi seeking contempt action to be initiated against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for allegedly making remarks against the judiciary.
On February 5, 2012, the High Court had rejected a petition filed by MNS seeking permission to hold a political rally at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai. The court had refused to grant permission on the ground that the venue fell under the silence zone.
According to the contempt petition, soon after the High Court decision, Raj had in a speech referred to the decision as "partisan".
"It is a serious issue but we need some authenticated document to show that such remarks were made. You (petitioner) should have attached either the news clippings or video procured from news channels of the speech. You have to also establish the correctness of the reports," the court said.
"We are concerned about judges` dignity. Show us details that somebody is showing highest disrespect and disregard towards the court and judges and are maligning it," Justice Dharmadhikari said.
"Don`t think that all these details are sought to favour him (Raj) as he is a big person. Law is equal in this court. Same standards apply for everybody. But at the same time the court cannot overlook the requirements of law while initiating criminal action for contempt," Justice Patel said.
The bench granted Naqvi six weeks` time to obtain details from news channels and papers regarding the speech.
"Since the matter pertains to dignity of this court we are giving final chance," the court said.
Raj, in his reply affidavit, had denied the allegation and said he had not made any remark against the judiciary. Raj claimed that he was "upset" with the court but had not cast any aspersion on either the judiciary or the judges.