The Kerala High Court on Thursday ordered KM Shajahan, the ex-private secretary of the former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, to publish an apology video on his YouTube channel for having committed contempt of court by making objectionable comments against judges of the High Court [Suo Motu case v KM Shajahan].
A division bench of Justices PB Suresh Kumar and CS Sudha passed the order after Shajahan submitted that he is ready to file an unconditional apology though his affidavit said that he had not committed any contempt of court.
“He shall stream a video on the very same YouTube channel expressing regret for having streamed the objectionable video, after admitting that he has committed contempt, in tune with the provision contained in Rule 14(a) of the Rules,” the Court ordered.
Shajahan had streamed a video on his YouTube channel making objectionable comments against the judges of the High Court.
The Court had on June 5 allowed Shajahan to file an unconditional apology and had posted the case for hearing on June 6.
Shajahan did not enter appearance on June 6 and the matter was adjourned for June 8.
When the matter was taken up on June 8, the Court examined Shajahan’s affidavit and noted that it did not contain any unconditional apology.
“In the affidavit, he does not admit that he has committed contempt of court. Instead, what is stated by him in the affidavit is that this Court has informed him that his conduct would amount to contempt of court and that he has also admitted before this Court that he has exceeded the bench mark limit of fair criticism in his video at two places and attempted to justify his conduct in streaming the video pointing out that the same was intended to expose a patently erroneous judicial order,” the Court said.
We are unable to accept this affidavit as an affidavit in accordance with Rule 14(a) of the Contempt of Courts (High Court of Kerala) Rules.
On being informed by the division bench that the Court would proceed with the matter, Shajahan submitted that he is prepared to file an unconditional apology in any manner, expressing regret for the imputations made by him against the judges.
He further said that he is prepared to stream a video on the very same YouTube channel, withdrawing the allegations made against the judges and expressing regret for having streamed the objectionable video.
The Court then directed him to do the same and posted the case for further consideration on June 15
“He shall also furnish, before the next posting date, the particulars of the link of the video agreed to be streamed in his YouTube channel together with a copy of the same in an electronic device,” the Court ordered.