"Rajeev Dhavan stood like a rock."
"Rajeev Dhavan stood like a rock."
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Ayodhya: TN Professor who wrote threatening letter to Rajeev Dhavan apologises, SC closes contempt case

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today closed a contempt of court case against Tamil Nadu based professor N Shanmugham after he tendered an apology for his conduct. Shanmugham had written to Dhavan threatening him over his appearance for Muslim parties in the Ayodhya case, prompting Dhavan to file a contempt plea before the Supreme Court.

When the matter was taken up today, CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked Advocate M Velmurugan, who was appearing for the contemnor,

Why are you doing this? You are 88 years old.”

Shanmugham then tendered an apology for his conduct.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Rajeev Dhavan, told the Court that he does not wish to pursue the matter except that it should be a message to everybody.

I don’t want any action to be taken against him. But a message should be sent to everyone“, said Sibal.

Considering these submissions, the Court closed the case.

In his letter addressed to Dhavan, Shanmugham had accused Rajeev Dhavan of having betrayed his faith by speaking on behalf of Muslims and “their so-called right to Ayodhya.” He further went on to state in the letter,

Hindus will not forgive you [Dhavan] for your present Role. If you have a conscience, recuse yourself immediately from (illegible) go back home and sit quietly ruling over your fate. Waiting for the lord’s judgment.

From Feb 1941 till today, I have chanted Gayatri Mantra 50 lakh times. From Sept 1958 till today, I have read Ch. 10 of GITA 27000 times. With that tongue, I curse you. Very soon my Lord will give you the punishment you deserve… You will live like a vegetable and a burden on Earth, laughed and derided at by society. Your family shall perish without anyone to lit (sic) the fire.

That shall be the price you will pay for your blasphemy. I can’t but pity you. I am ashamed of you.”

In his contempt plea, Dhavan went on to submit that this is not an isolated instance of threats being made to him over his appearance in the Ayodhya case. In particular, Dhavan quoted several Hindi WhatsApp messages sent by one Sanjay Kalal Bajrangiscreenshots of which were also annexed to the plea. Further, in a subsequent hearing in the Ayodhya case, Dhavan also mentioned that a clerk from his legal team was also facing the heat from clerks of other lawyers because Dhavan was appearing for Muslim parties.

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