Rahul wants accuser punished

Rahul wants accuser punished

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against former Samajwadi Party MLA Kishore Samrite for filing a “false” petition in the Allahabad High Court levelling charges of rape and illegal confinement against him.

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar, however, questioned the High Court’s division bench order of March this year imposing cost of Rs 50 lakh and directing CBI inquiry against the petitioner, an ex-MLA from Uttar Pradesh, without issuing any notice to him.

“How could a division bench decide a matter that was not before it or heard by it? Is it permissible to look into the issues raised in a different petition, pending before a single bench and decide it? The usual procedure is to put such matters before the Chief Justice or a senior judge if it has been urged that two petitions raised same or similar issues,” the court asked.

Senior counsel P P Rao, appearing for Rahul, submitted that the division bench of the High Court had exercised its power to prevent gross abuse of judicial process and also as the subject matter in both the petitions were common.

The court also asked as to how far it was justifiable to call a petition as “false” and aver that it had been filed by a person who had lost his mental balance.

The bench was referring to the petition filed by Gajendra Pal Singh on whose plea Samrite’s pending petition before a single judge was dismissed by a division bench with the cost and direction for the CBI probe. Rao claimed that the petition filed by Samrite was not maintainable in law as it was filed at the behest of leaders of a political party.

He also sought criminal contempt and perjury proceedings against Samrite for abusing the legal process.

During the hearing, the apex court bench also asked Rao to tell if Gandhi was in Amethi on the date of alleged incident in 2006.

Charges denied

In a written submitted by advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani on behalf of Gandhi, all the charges against him were denied.

It alleged that Samrite had indulged in “deliberate character assassination of a young national leader, full of promise, to tarnish his image in the eyes of the nation and hurt the feelings of lakhs of supporters of Gandhi and the rank and file of Indian National Congress.”

The court is likely to resume hearing on the special leave petition filed against the Allahabad High Court on Monday.