Soumya case: Katju turns down Supreme Court challenge


New Delhi: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandeya Katju has refused to accept the challenge by the apex court asking him to appear and advance his arguments in the infamous Soumya murder case.

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Hours after the Supreme Court verdict on Soumya case in September, Justice Katju said that the apex court had erred in not holding Govindachamy guilty of murder.  The SC took suo motu judicial notice of the blog and asked Katju to debate in court who was right- him or the court.

Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Prafulla Pant and UU Lalit on Monday asked him to come to appear. According to reports, Justice Katju told the media on Monday that he would not appear as "there is a specific prohibition under Article 124 (7) of the Constitution against former judges doing so."

Calling the judgment, a gross error, Katju had pointed out that the evidence for acquitting Govindachamy of murder was "inadmissible". The Bench observed that they wanted Katju to come debate in open court on why he believed the judgment was flawed. The court added that they had the greatest respect for Justice Katju.

Both the Kerala government and Soumya's mother had filed review petitions in the case, which the Supreme Court will take up on 11 November during the next hearing of the case.

Observing that the prosecution had failed to prove the charge of murder, the court acquitted Govindachamy of the offense of murder and charged him under Section 325. Katju however had written that the judgment was based on a hearsay evidence.

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