CHENNAI: An advocate of long standing with Madras High Court was chastised for describing the court of Justice N Kirubakaran as “Cat’s Paw” in connection with the helmet rule.
The 34-page order passed by Justice Kirubakaran on April 29 last began with the sentence, “Cat’s Paw is the nomenclature given to this court (by the revision petitioner R Muthukrishnan) for having passed the judgment (by Justice Kirubakaran) making helmet wearing compulsory by two wheeler riders on June 8, 2015.”
“The petitioner would charge that this court has only become a cat’s paw of the crocodile tears shedding by helmet lobbyists’ group consisting of helmet manufacturers and marketers as well as publicity oriented/personally interested in ‘helmet activists’. This contention of the petitioner is highly derogative and contemptuous in nature. The petitioner, an advocate, cannot stoop down to the level of making such allegation against this court. There is no question of this court becoming a puppet in the hands of somebody, as this court is earnestly concerned only with the safety and security of two wheeler riders and the interest of their family members by implementing Sec. 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act in letter and spirit,” the judge said.
As early as November 2015, the first Bench, presided over by Chief Justice SK Kaul, had pulled up Muthukrishnan and imposed a cost of `10,000 on him for filing a frivolous PIL on the same issue. The same bench subsequently, had initiated contempt proceedings against him and recommended to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to consider suspending him.
Continuing his tirade against Muthukrishnan, Justice Kirubakaran said that “Being an advocate, petitioner should be a role model. A lawyer is supposed to know the law. By seeking to review the order, he indirectly seeks a direction to violate Sec. 129 of the MV Act. If the order of the court is reviewed, it would amount to a direction to violate the statute. Moreover, unnecessary comtemptuous and uncharitable remarks and unwanted criticisms against the court have been made in the review petition, as well as during arguments in open court,the Judge said and dismissed the plea.