Advocate Generals notice to H Raja on contempt plea challenged

The Madras High Court has been moved challenging the notice issued by Advocate General (AG) Vijay Narayan to BJP National Secretary H Raja for his personal appearance on October 3, in connection with the contempt petition moved against him for allegedly scandalising the authority of the High Court.
Advocate Generals notice to H Raja on contempt plea challenged
BJP National Secretary H Raja


Justice R Mahadevan before whom the plea came on Friday, while observing that as per the rules there is no need for the AG to summon Raja, posted the case for further hearing to October 8, after directing one of the Government advocates who preferred to assist the court in this regard to get instructions.
Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam represented by its Secretary M Kannadasan who had moved the contempt plea against Raja to the AG leading to summons, said as per the provisions of Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act either the court may take suo motu contempt or on the motion made by the AG or by any person with the consent of the AG. 
Also, noting that the consent is required from the AG only to prevent frivolous petitions to be filed before the court, the petitioner said, “The AG may ask for evidence to satisfy him to show that prima facie contempt is made out and if the petitioner satisfies him with evidence he may give consent or refuse to give consent leaving it open to the petitioner to challenge the orders of the AG.”
“In case if the notice is issued to the contemnor and if he pleads not guilty the AG cannot take any evidence to find out the truth or not and in case the contemnor pleads for apology the AG is not vested with the power to admonish the contemnor and hence the AG has no authority to issue notice to the contemnor and conduct an enquiry,” the petitioner added.
He further submitted that as per 15(1) (b) of the Act, the AG is not vested with the power to adjudicate a matter judicially and cannot give a finding that the act of the contemnor amounts to contempt or not.
Based on this, the AG is empowered to find out whether the applicant has made out a primafacie case and be permitted to make a motion before the court and hence it is just and necessary to direct the AG to withdraw the notice issued to Raja and decide grant of consent on my contempt application, the petitioner said.

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