Mumbai: Observing that politicians like Raj Thackeray do not deserve any importance, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to hear a contempt petition filed against the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief while hinting that media make such leaders big by giving them publicity.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Ejaz Naqvi seeking initiation of contempt action against Raj for making derogatory and defamatory remarks against the High Court after his outfit was refused permission to hold a rally at Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai.
"He (Raj Thackeray) does not deserve any importance. By filing such proceedings you (petitioner) are giving him importance which is not needed," Chief Justice Shah said.
Citing the case of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, the court said, "Aseem Trivedi had drawn certain cartoons. Only when he was arrested people came to know about those cartoons. Till then no one knew who Aseem was".
Drawing parallel to Aseem's case, Chief Justice Shah said, "If this person's (Raj Thackeray) statements are not reported by media then nobody would know what he is saying". The bench adjourned hearing of the petition stating it would consider the issue later.
On February 5 this year, the same bench of the High Court had rejected an application filed by the MNS seeking permission to hold a rally at Shivaji Park, which has been declared a Silence Zone by the municipal corporation.
Naqvi alleged in his contempt petition that soon after the court order Raj held a press conference and termed as "partisan" the court's order. "The MNS leader had ridiculed the order and had also raised questions as to how the judges had not signed the order copy thus prohibiting him from approaching the Supreme Court seeking relief," Naqvi argued on Monday.
The petition claims that Raj's remarks scandalise the court and tend to lower its authority and dignity. The remark cast an unwarranted aspersion of partiality against the High Court, the petition said.