SC censures Karunanidhi and Baalu for casual attitude

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New Delhi, Aug 4 (UNI) The Supreme Court today lashed out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and Union Shipping and Transport Minister T R Baalu for their casual attitude in the contempt of court proceedings initiated by the apex court for defying its order not to enforce Tamil Nadu bandh in support of Sethusamudram project.

A bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi even threatened to issue arrest warrants against Mr Karunanidhi.

Only the Chief Secretary of the state and state DGP have filed their show cause affidavit till date.

The angry judges asked them, ''What type of people are you? Are you above law? Will you dictate this court also? We will issue arrest warrants against the Chief Minister and seek his personal appearance in the court.'' The apex court, however, granted four weeks time as last opportunity to Mr Baalu, state Transport Minister K N Nehru and state Transport Secretary D Sarangi to file their counter affidavits and granted one week's time to petitioner AIADMK headed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to file their rejoinder to the counter affidavit.

The Supreme Court, while fixing September 22 as the next date of hearing, also sought an explanation from all the six alleged contemnors for delay in filing their counter affidavits.

The apex court in a special sitting on September 30 last year had directed the contemnors not to enforce the statewide bandh on October 1 last.

However, the contemnors did not take any action against those who tried to disrupt normal life in the state and bandh was a success and very few public transport buses could hit the roads on the day of the bandh and it was admitted before media by state Chief Secretary L K Tripathi.

The Supreme Court issued contempt notices to all the six on October 29, 2007, and after getting repeated adjournments for filing couter affidavits they did not do so.

Counsel for Mr Karunanidhi, however, submitted before the court that the Chief Minister does not want to file a separate counter affidavit and will adopt the one filed by the Chief Secretary.

The Chief Secretary and DGP of the state in their counter affidavit filed on July 30 have, however, denied the allegations of the petitioner that they were responsible for willful and deliberate disobedience of this court's orders.

UNI SC AM NS1201

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