SC issues notice to ex-army chief for contempt

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 01, 2013 13:49 hrs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to former army chief V.K. Singh 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, which tended to lower its authority.

A special bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice H.L. Gokhale issued notice to Gen (retd.) V.K. Singh taking suo moto cognizance of his statement questioning the apex court ruling which appeared in a newspaper Sep 22.

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 General Singh prima facie amount to scandalising the court.

They 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 Oct 23.

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