The Kerala High Court today ordered the personal appearance of state Culture Minister K C Joseph on February 16 to answer criminal contempt charges filed against him for alleged derogatory remarks made against a judge of the court.
A division bench, comprising of Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Sunil Thomas, passed the order on a petition by V Sivankutty, MLA, who alleged that the Minister had committed criminal contempt by making derogatory remarks against Justice Alexander Thomas who had criticised the style of functioning of the Advocate General’s office.
Earlier, Sivankutty had sought sanction from the Advocate General to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the Minister. However, the AG did not take any action on the petition.
The Minister had made the remarks in a Facebook post in July last year while reacting to the Judge’s observations.
When the matter came up today, the bench held that going by the facts of the case, cognizance can be taken in the petition and ordered notice directing the personal appearance of the Minister.
It also observed that the role of the AG (in granting sanction for initiating contempt proceedings) was to prevent frivoulous matters being brought to the court on allegations of criminal contempt.
( Source – PTI )