In a relief to state Culture Minister K C Joseph, the Kerala High Court on Friday dropped the contempt of court proceedings against him over his remarks about one of its judges while accepting his unconditional apology.
Disposing of the contempt petition filed by a CPI(M) MLA, a division bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Sunil Thomas expressed hope that the minister would refrain from making such remarks in future.
The court expressed its displeasure over the comments made by the Congress minister last July but said it was taking a lenient view in the matter. The court also said the wrong committed was not done in the heat of the moment but a well-thought out one.
In his petition, V Sivankutty had submitted that the minister was guilty of contempt of court by making derogatory remarks against Justice Alexander Thomas who had criticized the style of functioning of the state Advocate General's office. The minister had made the remarks in a Facebook post last July while reacting to the judge's observations.
Earlier when the matter came up for hearing, Joseph who appeared in the court in person produced a copy of his Facebook post on March 4 wherein he had posted his apology.
The court also took note of his amended affidavit -filed two days ago- in which he had referred to the apology made by him on his official Facebook page. He also informed the court that newspapers had carried the news about his apology throughout the state the very next day.
During the previous hearing on March 1, the court had observed that Joseph owes an apology to the public for making contemptuous comment against one of its judges last year.
In his earlier affidavit, Joseph had said the expressions used by him in the Facebook post were not intended as slanderous remarks against the judicial system or cause insinuation against a particular judge or the system as a whole.