Contempt notice from rtd HC judge

Justice Michael F Saldanha, a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, has issued a legal notice to the Chief Secretary under Contempt of Courts Act over the decision to award the project to a personal Trust of the Horticulture Minister.

In a strongly-worded notice Justice Saldanha, who is also the chairman of Transparency International India (Karnataka Chapter) has said that his attempts to meet Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa over the issue have gone in vain.

“A massive amount of Rs 380 crore has been sanctioned by the State government to be paid to a Trust created by the minister. I have made 26 attempts in  the course of the last 47 days to meet the chief minister. I was told that he refuses to see me. These (Cubbon Park and Lalbagh) are heritage areas and belong to the people. The Horticulture Department officers  have crossed all limits. The Deputy Director of the Department, Jayadeva, has also used abusive words against a retired HC Judge by harbouring a grudge for actions initiated against the Department, as a judge,” the notice states.

When asked whether a former judge has the authority to issue legal notice under the Contempt of Courts Act, Justice Saldanha replied that he was abused for giving orders against the officials of Horticulture department when he was the HC judge. He said he is setting a new precedence by issuing contempt of court notice to the State. “I was abused not as an individual but for being a retired HC judge. Legal officers can be targeted for their orders and thus they should get the protection,” he said.

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