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RSS Ideologue S Gurumurthy Faces Contempt Case for Tweet Against Delhi High Court Judge

Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant, had shared a tweet on October 1 alluding to bias on the part of Justice Muralidhar after he set aside the transit remand for activist Gautam Navlakha.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:October 29, 2018, 5:07 PM IST
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RSS Ideologue S Gurumurthy Faces Contempt Case for Tweet Against Delhi High Court Judge
RSS ideologue Swaminathan Gurumuthy in a conversation with CNN-News18.
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New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Monday initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against RSS ideologue and Reserve Bank of India’s external board member S Gurumurthy for his tweets against sitting HC judge Justice S Muralidhar.

Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant, had shared a tweet on October 1 alluding to bias on the part of Justice Muralidhar after he set aside the transit remand for activist Gautam Navlakha in the Bhima Koregaon case earlier this month.

He had retweeted a link to a blog called ‘Drishtikone’, titled ‘Why has Delhi High Court Justice Muralidhar’s relationship with Gautam Navlakha not been disclosed?’ The bench has issued a notice to Gurumurthy, Drishtikone as well as filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Yogesh Khanna also ordered that the tweets in question, and a YouTube video making allegations against Justice Muralidhar, be taken down. A notice has also been issued to the NCT government.

The court’s direction came on a letter which was received from Adv Rajshekhar Rao stating that the tweet was a deliberate attempt to attack a sitting high court judge.

Rao, in his letter to the CJI, contended that such an attempt by Gurumurthy amounted to "scandalising the judiciary and obstruct the judicial process".

Navlakha was arrested by Pune Police along with four other activists on August 28, alleging that an event they had held - Elgar Parishad - had caused violence Koregaon Bhima in the state. Pune police had got a transit remand from a local court, but it was stayed by a two-judge Delhi HC bench on the grounds that it was “unsustainable in law”.

This is not the first time Gurumurthy has found himself in hot water for his remarks against Justice Muralidhar.

Even in an earlier case, Gurumurthy, who is the editor of the magazine ‘Thuglak’, through his tweets, had asked whether Justice Muralidhar had been a junior to Karti Chidambaram’s father and Senior Advocate P Chidambaram.

Justice Muralidhar had earlier this year observed that misinformation on social media "spreads like wildfire and considered it necessary to place on record the correct facts".

The court also said that, "being the editor of a magazine that has a wide readership in Tamil Nadu, had Mr. S. Gurumurthy cared to check, he could easily have ascertained that the presiding Judge of this Bench was as a junior of Mr. G. Ramswamy, who then was the Additional Solicitor General of India and who later was the Attorney General for India.”

“At no time did the presiding Judge work as a junior to Mr. P. Chidambaram, Senior Advocate, the father of the Petitioner," he added.

Then the Court, in that matter, did not initiate contempt proceedings against Gurumurthy, but asked the Centre as to whether such posts can scandalize the legal profession and whether any remedial action needed to be taken.

In April, the Court issued notice in a contempt petition filed against Gurumurthy by the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA).
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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