New Delhi: The government on Wednesday objected in the Supreme Court to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief's remarks on the Malegaon blasts when the court was hearing a plea by the case's key accused against the Bombay High Court order that allowed their custodial interrogation.
Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal drew the attention of the apex court bench of Justice HL Dattu and Justice Anil R Dave to the news item that had appeared in a national daily.
"Today I find some article in a national daily which causes concern to me," Rawal told the court.
As Rawal drew the court's attention to the news report, citing RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as saying that the then Maharashtra Police's Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare told him that he was "under pressure to implicate right-wing outfits" in the Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid bomb blasts, the court said: "We have not come across it."
Rawal told the court about the news item in the course of the hearing of a petition by Prasad Srikant Purohit and Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi, who have challenged the Bombay High Court order allowing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to interrogate them in connection with 2008 Malegaon blast.
The apex court by its December 16, 2011, interim order had suspended the Bombay High Court order permitting the custodial interrogation of Purohit and Dwivedi. The court extended its interim order till March 14, when the matter would be listed for further hearing.
Purohit is still a Lt Colonel in the Indian Army and is facing disciplinary proceedings.
Pointing to the contents of the news report, Rawal said it amounted to commenting on the merit of the case before the top court. He said the real test of interference in a sub judice matter was "not in actual interference but the tendency to interfere".
He cited the case of Milk Control Order during the then West Bengal Chief Minister PC Sen's tenure.
While the Calcutta High Court was seized of a petition challenging the order, Sen defended the government's decision at a public meeting.
As the court was told that the news report was not pertaining to the proceedings of the apex court but the comments of a public figure, the court wondered why such statements are made when they are of no benefit.
The court also observed that the people who are reporting also have a responsibility.
Karkare fell to the bullets of Pakistani terrorists during 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.