The Allahabad High Court today quashed the summons issued by a lower court against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the proceedings initiated by it in connection with his criticism of the Supreme Court’s verdict striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission(NJAC).
Justice Yashwant Varma passed the order allowing an application of Jaitley filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code which pertains to “inherent powers of the High Courts”.
Jaitley had challenged the October 19 order passed by a Judicial Magistrate of Mahoba district in Uttar Pradesh who had summoned the Union Minister on November 19 while directing the police to register an FIR against him under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 505 (statements causing public mischief).
The lower court had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports relating to Jaitley’s criticism of the Supreme Court judgement which had struck down the NJAC Act terming it as “unconstitutional”.
It was contended by the counsel appearing on Jaitley’s behalf that the impugned lower court order was passed “without jurisdiction”, “without any sanction from the concerned government as required under Section 197 of the CrPC” and was, therefore, “against the law”.
Jaitley’s advocate Maninder Singh submitted that the summoning order was deliberate misuse of judicial office, according to Nalin Kohli who was part of the defence team of lawyers.
According to reports, Kulpahar Civil Judge (Junior Division) Ankit Goel, while taking notice of media reports about Jaitley strongly criticising the SC verdict on NJAC created by the Union government, had issued summons for personal appearance of the Finance Minister on November 19 and directed SP of Mahoba to serve the summons.
Jaitley, while reacting to the SC judgement on NJAC, had said that Indian democracy could not be a “tyranny of the unelected”.
He had said that democracy would be in danger if the elected are undermined.