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The Supreme Court on Thursday closed a contempt case against an 88-year old retired public servant for writing objectionable letters to senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan for appearing for Muslim parties in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute matter.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the man had expressed regret for using such objectionable words in his communication to Dhavan.

The bench also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said there should not be a repetition of such acts.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Dhavan, said he does want any punishment for the retired public servant but a message should be sent to all in the country that there should not be any intimidation of any counsel appearing for any party.

The counsel appearing for N Shanmugam said he was expressing his regret for using such words in the letter to Dhavan.

The court had on September 3 issued notice to Shanmugam on Dhavan's contempt plea for allegedly threatening him in a letter, saying physical disabilities will befall him for taking up the case on behalf of Muslim parties against the deity 'Ram Lalla'.

Dhavan, who appeared for lead petitioner M Siddiq and the All India Sunni Waqf Board, had said that he received a letter on August 14, 2019 from Shanmugam.

He had alleged that he has been accosted both at home and in court premises.

The plea had said that by sending the letter the alleged contemnor has committed criminal contempt because "he is intimidating a senior advocate who is appearing for a party/parties before the apex court and discharging his duties as a senior advocate and he ought not to have sent such a letter."

"Exercise suo motu powers under Article 129 of the Constitution of India and Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act taking cognisance of the criminal contempt on the basis of facts placed on record against contemnor/opposite party for committing criminal contempt," the plea had said.
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