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Mah Minister tenders unconditional apology to SC

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) Maharashtra Minister for Transport Swaroop Singh Naik who was sentenced to one month's simple imprisonment along with state additional chief secretary Ashok Khot for contempt of Supreme Court on May 10 has in his review petition filed today tendered unconditional apology to the court.

The Suprme Court has already rejected his apology observing ,"We are sorry to say that we can not subscribe to the 'slap-say sorry and forget' school of thought in the administration of contempt jurisprudence.Saying 'sorry' does not make the slapper taken the slap smart less upon the said hypocritical word being uttered.

Apology shall not be paper apology and expression of sorrow should come from the heart and not from the pen. For it is one thing to say sorry- it is another to feel sorry." The court has also expressed surprise by the plea taken by the minister that he is qualified only up to secondary school level and belongs to scheduled Tribe category.

Another defence taken by the embattled minister fighting with his back to the wall for survival as minister, is that six saw mills were permitted to operate in April ,2004 after having been issued licences by the Central government and he had no role to play in the episode which led to his conviction for contempt of court.

Earlier in the day the bench headed by the chief justice Y.K.

Sabharwal refused to suspend the sentence of the two contemners when senior counsel Ranjit Kumar mentioned the matter and pleaded for suspension of the senternce on the ground that his review petition would become infructuos if his clients were arrested by the police.

The court however, remarked that review petitions if filed by the contemners would be decided in the judges chambers before summer vacations as per the procedure while expressing its unhappiness the way the matter was mentioned.Tomorrow is the last working day in the apex court.

The apex court had pronounced the sentence yesterday after it found that notes were inserted in the official file by the two to circumvent the court order passed in 1997 banning the operation of veneer and plywood mills in the reserved forest area in the state.

A bench comprising chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr. Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia had concluded,"In this case the contemnors dserve severe punishment. This will set an example for those who have the propensity of disregarding the court's orders because of their money power,social status or posts held." Naik was the state forest minister and Ashok Khot was the Principal Secretary of the cstate in 2004 when court's orders were deliberately flouted.

UNI AKS/SC RP KN1942

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