New Delhi: Attorney General K K Venugopal has refused to accord sanction to initiate contempt proceedings against Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb for his alleged comments made against the majesty of courts.

The topmost law officer, who termed the alleged statements as deplorable and wholly uncalled for, however, referred to the statement made by the state counsel before the Tripura High Court which accepted the subsequent clarificatory statement and decided not to initiate contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister of the BJP-ruled northeast state.

In a letter to lawyer Abu Sohel, who had sought the consent of the law officer for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings, Venugopal said, “I am sure you would appreciate that, in view of the fact that the High Court has accepted the statement made by the Chief Minister that he was misquoted and that he has the highest respect for the judiciary, it would not be appropriate for me to grant consent for initiating contempt proceedings. I, therefore, decline consent for the reasons stated.”

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“According to the reports, the request for initiating contempt proceedings, made by members of the Bar, was not acceded to by the (High) Court. The Bench … accepted the statement of the Chief Minister made on social media, the screen-shot of which was shown to the court. As a result, the court refused to list the case for contempt, and the matter was closed,” the letter written on October 2 said.

Some media houses had earlier reported that the Chief Minister allegedly asked officials not to fear contempt.

Later, a statement was issued claiming that the speech was twisted and wrongly reported to project a disregard for the judiciary.

The Chief Minister had said that he holds the judiciary in the highest esteem.

The nod of the Attorney General or the Solicitor General is a condition precedent to set the criminal contempt proceedings in motion before the top court under the law.

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