The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed, as withdrawn, a PIL by Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for alleging favourable judicial verdicts were available at a price.
A bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi permitted Bhim Singh to withdraw the petition saying that the Calcutta High Court was already seized of the matter. However, he sought the liberty of the court in moving it, if required, in the future.
The PIL had said that the words spoken by Banerjee amounted to ‘scandalizing’ the judiciary, which has ‘lowered the authority of the judiciary as a whole’.
Banerjee on August 14 had alleged, ‘Money is paid to buy many (favourable) judgments. Corruption has crept into democracy and judiciary. Why should this happen? This is most unfortunate. I know people may file defamation suits against me for this. But I am not afraid of money and muscle power.’ This was according to one of the newspaper reports annexed to Bhim Singh’s petition.
Banerjee, the petition said, had used ‘highly undesirable, unhealthy and contemptuous language against the judiciary which deserves the attention of the highest court of the country’.
The PIL, moved on August 16, sought that she should be hauled up for the contempt of court within the meaning and scope of Article 129 of the Constitution.
Bhim Singh had urged the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against her or take any other legal action which the court may feel fit under the given circumstance and the situation.