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The Supreme Court today let BJP Delhi Chief Manoj Tiwari off with a warning in the contempt matter against him in the Delhi Sealing Drive case.
The Court expressed anguish over Tiwari’s conduct and reiterated that the sealing of establishments was done in accordance with the directions of the Court. The Court came down heavily on Tiwari for his conduct saying,
“We are extremely pained by the machismo and brazen manner in which Shri Manoj Tiwari took the law into his own hands and broke or tampered with the seal on Shri Prem Singh’s premises. We are pained because Shri Manoj Tiwari is an elected MP and hopefully a responsible citizen of Delhi. Should an elected representative of the people defy the rule of law in this manner? “
The Court termed Tiwari’s defence for violating the Court’s orders to pacify the large public of nearly 1500 people as “shocking” and questioned Tiwari whether he would resort to breaking the law in far more severe matters if a mob goaded him to do so.
“What shocked us was the rationale given by Shri Manoj Tiwari which suggested to us quite explicitly that instead of pacifying the mob and requiring the mob to act in accordance with law, Shri Manoj Tiwari acted irresponsibly by taking the law into his own hands.”
Censuring Tiwari for the lack of respect demonstrated towards the rule of law, the Court went ahead to call him a “rebel without a cause”,
“The misplaced bravado of Shri Manoj Tiwari and his chest thumping immediately after the hearing on 3rd October, 2018 and making serious but frivolous allegations against the Monitoring Committee appointed by this Court is a clear indication of how low Shri Manoj Tiwari can stoop and displays his total lack of respect for any rule of law. It seems that he is, in a sense, a rebel without a cause.”
However, the Court disposed of the matter and let Tiwari off with a warning.
The judgment was rendered by the Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta.
The Court had issued a contempt notice against Tiwari in September for allegedly breaking the seal of an establishment which was sealed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation pursuant to the Supreme Court’s orders.
While Tiwari refused to tender an apology, his counsel, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, had told the Court that Tiwari’s actions were to prevent any untoward incident from happening in the presence of a raging crowd. Singh had argued that Tiwari’s actions did not amount to violating the Court’s order, but were merely a mark of protest.
Tiwari had also submitted that the Monitoring Committee responsible for overseeing the sealing drive was overstepping its jurisdiction, and that a number of establishments were wrongfully sealed.
The Court had reserved its judgment in this case on October 30.
Read the Judgment: