On Wednesday, October 27, the Advocate General of Tamil Nadu, Shunmugasundaram, withdrew an order where his predecessor, Vijay Naryan, had refused consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings against S Gurumurthy, as per LiveLaw report. The Advocate General has decided to review the application seeking contempt of court charges against S Gurumurthy, the editor of Thuglak magazine.
The application seeking contempt of court proceedings was filed by S Duriasamy, who had approached the court and asked that his plea be properly investigated by the current Advocate General. Following this, Shanmugasundaram recalled his predecessor’s order, and will now decide whether to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Gurumurthy.
The plea was filed after Gurumurthy, on January 14, had allegedly passed derogatory comments against judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts at an event held for the magazine's 51st year celebrations. He had spoken about the politicisation of the system and had claimed that judges were appointed by politicians and not on merit. After being criticised, he took to social media to tweet a clarification and expressed regret at his choice of words.
S Duraisamy, a leader of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, and senior advocate S Kumaradevan had submitted a plea seeking the Advocate General’s consent to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Gurumurthy. He has said that Gurumuthy’s comments were a punishable offence under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act.
Based on the letter, the then Advocate General Vijay Narayan had asked both parties to appear before him on February 16, 2021, at 4 pm either in person or through a counsel.
Gurumurthy had spoken about the politicisation of the system and had claimed that judges were appointed by politicians and not on merit. After being criticised, he took to social media to tweet a clarification and expressed regret at his choice of words.
On March 31, Narayan had declined consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against Gurumurthy and had observed that the editor’s comments had been “impromptu” in nature and that he had issued a clarification later.
AG Narayan had tendered his resignation from office soon after since the DMK had been voted to power and senior advocate R Shunmugasundaram had been appointed as the next Advocate General. Subsequently, Advocate Doraiswamy filed a petition to recall the order dismissing his earlier plea on the ground that the dismissal order had been passed by mistake. After review, the order of dismissal in Doraiswamy's consent petition was recalled for further consideration.