STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 1 October
The Supreme Court today issued notice to former Army chief General V K Singh (retd) asking why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him for questioning the apex court’s decision in his date of birth issue.
Taking suo moto cognizance of his statement questioning the apex court ruling, a special Bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale sought a response from the retired general by 23 October, as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Lodha said: “We are concerned about the authority of this court.”
Recounting the court proceedings relating to Gen. Singh’s age row and his statement that appeared in a newspaper, the court in its order said remarks by Gen Singh prima facie amount to scandalising the court. “Prima facie Singh’s statement undermines authority of the court and scandalises its proceedings,” the bench said. The remarks tend to lower the authority of the court and amount to contempt under Article 129 of the Constitution read with Section 2 of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, the court observed.
Article 129 of the Constitution says: “The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court, including the power to punish for contempt of itself”, and Section 2 of the Contempt of Court Act defines contempt as an attempt to scandalise or lower the authority of the court.
The notice has also been issued to the newspaper that carried Gen Singh’s statement. The court has fixed the next date of hearing on 23 October. The apex court had yesterday taken suo motu cognizance of his adverse remarks against its order on his age row.