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The Indian Express : National Network


Wednesday, August 29, 2001  

SC slams notice on Roy, spares Patkar

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 28: FINDING remarks of Booker Prize winner and Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Arundhati Roy against the judiciary ‘‘prima facie contemptuous’’, the Supreme Court today issued a notice to her asking her to show cause why contempt proceedings not be initiated against her.

These remarks find mention in her affidavit filed in response to a petition seeking action against NBA leader Medha Patkar, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and her for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the judiciary during a dharna by the NBA before the court in December last year. They were protesting against the decision to allow raising of the Sardar Sarovar dam height.

Discharging Patkar and Bhushan from the proceedings, a bench comprising Justice G.B. Pattanaik and Justice Ruma Pal took strong exception to the way the author had attributed motives to the judiciary and later taken a defiant stand.

Justice Pal, writing for the bench, said: ‘‘We find the remarks of Roy prima facie contemptuous...She has imputed motives to the court and accused the courts of harassing her.’’

The bench said it was conscious of the fact that she stood by her remarks while issuing a notice to her to show cause why contempt proceedings be not initiated against her.

The court had reserved its verdict on August 2 saying that if it felt that there was nothing against the respondents, it would discharge them. However, if it was of the view that an inquiry was needed to establish facts, it would order so. (PTI)

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© 2001: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.