After reading the Supreme Court notice -Katju concludes- that he “felt that the judges had no intention to humiliate or insult” him, but “rather were anxious to get (his) help in reconsidering their judgment.”

Serious mistakes by SC in Sowmya case Justice Katju on why he decided to appear in court
news Sowmya Murder Monday, October 24, 2016 - 13:55

Former Supreme Court judge and ex-chairman of the Press Council of India, Markandey Katju took to Facebook on Monday to explain why he reconsidered his earlier decision not to appear before the SC in the Soumya murder case.

Katju had earlier in his blog said that the apex court had erred in not holding the convict Govindachamy guilty of Soumya’s murder. The SC took suo moto judicial notice of the same, and asked him to appear before it for a debate.

Katju refused to do so citing Article 124(7) of the Indian Constitution, which he said, specifically prohibits former judges from appearing before the court. He later however backtracked saying he was willing.

This is how he explains his sudden change of mind in the said matter:

“In the Soumya case when I heard for the first time that the Supreme Court had issued notice to me and asked me to appear before them and explain my views, I was upset because I thought the Court was trying to humiliate me since I had criticized their judgment and such an order was unprecedented. So I had initially thought of not appearing before the Court….But when I received the notice of the Court and read it, I found that the Court had used very respectful language….and had 'requested' me, not 'ordered' me, to appear, since they seemed to be sincere about their desire to reconsider their judgment, and did not have a closed mind.”

He goes on to quote Lord Denning -the celebrated British judge- who once said that there is yet to be a judge who has not erred even once, and that he too has made a few incorrect judgments in his tenure.

Katju says that he “genuinely believes that the Supreme Court made some serious mistakes in its judgment by reversing the death penalty awarded by the High Court.”

He attributes this to the overload of cases that the apex court has to deal with on a daily basis, which may have possibly not allowed the SC to set aside adequate time needed to deal with the Soumya murder case.

After reading the Supreme Court notice -Katju concludes- that he “felt that the judges had no intention to humiliate or insult” him, but “rather were anxious to get (his) help in reconsidering their judgment.”

Katju is now expected to appear before the SC on November 11, 2016 at 2 pm to air his views in the Soumya murder case that had rocked Kerala in February 2011.

You can read the full post here.

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