Delhi HC: Only Fair Criticism of Judicial System, will not Tolerate anything that creates Obstruction in functionality

LI Network

Published on: October 12, 2023 at 00:18 IST

The Delhi High Court stated on Wednesday that it welcomes fair and just criticism but will not tolerate anything that hinders the functioning of the justice system.

These remarks were made during a contempt of court case involving writer Anand Rangnathan, in which the High Court took suo motu cognizance of remarks made against former Justice S Murlidhar, who granted bail to Gautam Navlakha.

Previous parties involved in the case, RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, were discharged after issuing an unconditional apology.

The division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Anish Dayal emphasized that while they are open to criticism, it should not diminish the dignity of the court or impede the judicial process. They expressed their concern for the obstructed functioning of the system, rather than personal attacks against the court.

The court scheduled further consideration of the matter for November 9, 2023. Rangnathan’s counsel informed the court that he has filed an affidavit to clarify his client’s stance.

The counsel clarified that Rangnathan’s remarks were not aimed at the decision to grant bail to Navlakha, but rather had a general applicability.

The counsel argued that offering an unconditional apology would imply acceptance of contemptuous behavior.

Additionally, another party involved in the case, a magazine, submitted an affidavit tendering an unconditional apology, and the article in question has since been removed.

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