Justice Katju to appear in Supreme Court today in Soumya case

Friday, Nov 11, 2016,12:11 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | All eyes in the Supreme Court will be on former apex Court judge Markandey Katju who has been summoned to appear in person before it to point out the “fundamental flaws”, as claimed by him in the sensational Soumya rape case.

“I’ll be appearing in the Supreme Court at 2 PM before the bench presided over by Justice (Ranjan) Gogoi on their request in the Soumya case,” Katju tweeted.

In an unprecedented order, the apex court on October 17 had asked him to appear and debate his Facebook post criticizing the judgment by which the accused had escaped gallows in the Soumya rape case in which he was acquitted of murder charge.

“He (Justice Katju) is a respected gentleman. We request him to come in person and debate his Facebook post criticizing the judgment. Let him come to the court and let’s debate over the fundamental flaws in our verdict,” a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and U U Lalit had said and issued a notice to Justice Katju.

Experts had said it was for the first time that the Supreme Court has asked its former judge to appear in person before it in connection with any matter.

In his Facebook post, Justice Katju had criticized the apex court saying it had grievously erred by “not holding” the convict, Govindachamy, “guilty of murder” in the case.

The bench had also kept the review petitions filed by Kerala and Soumya’s mother in abeyance saying it would debate with Justice Katju on his facebook post.

“Though arguments have been elaborate and stands concluded, we do not consider it appropriate to express any opinion on the contentions advanced at this stage. This is so because we are of the view that a connected issue which has arisen needs to be resolved in the first instance,” the bench had said referring to the blog of Justice Katju.

“Such a view coming from a retired judge of this Court needs to be treated with greatest of respect and consideration. Office to register a suo motu review petition,” the bench had said in its order.

“We issue notice to Justice Markandey Katju, former judge of this Court and request him to appear in Court in person and participate in the proceedings on November 11…as to whether the judgment and order dated September 15 passed by this Bench…suffers from any fundamental flaw so as to require exercise of the review jurisdiction,” the bench had said.

While issuing notice to Justice Katju, the bench had also quoted his Facebook post criticizing the Soumya case verdict, which said “It is regrettable that the Court has not read section 300 carefully. The judgment needs to be reviewed in an open court hearing”.

In another post on the same issue, Justice Katju had written “I submit that the Supreme Court has erred in law in not holding the accused guilty of murder, and its judgment needs to be reviewed to this extent”.

Justice Katju, through his Facebook post on September 15, had criticised the verdict commuting to life the death sentence awarded to Govindachamy for raping 23-year-old Soumya on February 1, 2011, after pushing her out of a train in Kerala.

Following the apex court order, the state as well as Soumya’s mother had filed review petitions.