SC wants Lalit Modi to apologize unconditionally over social media post on the judiciary
The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on ex-IPL commissioner Lalit Modi over his remarks against the judiciary made in social media posts and directed him to tender an unconditional apology on social media platforms and national newspapers. Lalit Modi, now parked in London, recently posted abusive comments against lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, and his family property-sharing case is pending before the apex court.
Observing that Modi is not above the law and the institution, a bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar warned any repeat of such conduct would be viewed very seriously. The apex court also directed him to file an affidavit before it tendered an apology and stated no such posts would be made in the future which would be tantamount, even remotely, to tarnish the image of the Indian judiciary.
“We have gone through the counter affidavit filed by the respondent (Modi). We are not at all satisfied with the explanation given. We are of the view even the clarification would tarnish the image of the judiciary.
“Counsel for respondent Abhishek Manu Singhvi has stated at the bar that an unconditional apology would be tendered in all social media where he has followers and leading newspapers at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Madras, and Kolkata editions,” the bench said while posting the matter for further hearing on April 24.
Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for C U Singh who has filed the contempt plea, submitted that Modi had made a tweet on March 30, 2023, which tarnished the image of the judiciary. He made scandalous remarks against judges and the apology expressed is to avoid punishment, Singh said.
Claiming Modi has three million followers on Twitter and four million on Instagram, Singh said the former cricket administrator must publish his apology on all social media accounts. As a senior advocate, A M Singhvi, representing Modi, started making his submissions, and the top court made scathing observations against the ex-IPL boss.
The bench said, “What does he mean by the statement that judges are in pockets of so and so? Does he think that the judiciary is weak? Where is the apology to the court? First, you file an unconditional apology. Otherwise, you are in contempt. An apology must be made in public. He should say I have trust in the Indian judiciary.
“We don’t believe in an apology only on paper in the courtroom. If such a statement is made publicly, the public must know that he has tendered an apology. Everybody thinks he will make allegations against the judiciary and we will tolerate it,” the apex court said.
Singhvi said he had heard the court “loud and clear” and assured the bench his client would tender an apology. The top court then said,” He may be under the impression that he can purchase anything but he is not above the law and the institution.”
 SC appoints Justice (retd) R V Raveendran to mediate property dispute between Lalit Modi and his mother – Aug 01, 2022, PGurus.com
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