Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju has offered an apology in the apex court to wriggle out of the criminal contempt proceedings initiated against him for writing blogs that the court had called “an attack on the judges”.
Appearing for Justice Katju, senior lawyer Rajeev Dhawan mentioned the matter before a bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and sought an early hearing of his application. Dhawan told the bench that he has already filed an application, which has reportedly sought an exemption from personal appearance for the former judge. Besides, it has been learnt that Justice Katju has offered an apology.
Dhawan requested for listing the application next week, before the court breaks for a winter vacation. Justice Gogoi said he would look into the request. At present, the matter has been fixed for first week in January.
On November 11, the court had issued suo motu contempt notice to its former judge — a first in the country’s judicial history — over writing blogs, which had comments on the judges. Justice Katju was a Supreme Court judge between 2006 and 2011.
“Prima facie, the statements made seem to be an attack on the Judges and not on the judgment. We, therefore, issue notice of contempt to show cause why contempt proceedings should not be drawn up against Justice Markandey Katju and he be appropriately dealt with,” stated the court order.
Justice Katju was issued a notice by the court in October over blogs in which he was critical of the September 15 judgment that had set aside the death penalty for the convict in Kerala’s Soumya rape-murder case.