The District Judge of Palakkad District of Kerala, Kalam Pasha, who had courted controversy by allegedly stopping the performance of renowned Mohiniyattam dancer Dr. Neena Prasad, has said that the protest against him by lawers of Palakkad amounts to contempt of court.
Judge Kalam Pasha, who resides near the Government Moyan Lower Primary School in Palakkad town, had allegedly stopped the Mohiniyattam performance by Dr. Neena Prasad on March 19, on the ground that it was a nuisance to him. It was reported that the Police arrived at the venue claiming that they had orders from the judge to stop the program.
The incident came to light through a Facebook post by the artist naming Judge Pasha. The post became viral on social media and was shared by Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, calling the incident "another example of Talibanization of Kerala".
"I was in tears", the artist told the media while saying that it was an insult to stop the performance midway.
Pursuant to the said incident, Lawyers of Palakkad district protested against the Judge, inside the Court complex under the banner of All India Lawyers Union, raising slogans and demanding freedom of expression. Lawyers who recited poems in the protest said that the Judge has misused his power.
Civil society also protested against the alleged action of the judge, some by performing dance in public.
Thereafter, in a letter addressed to the President of the Palakkad Bar Association, Judge Pasha had said that he had only asked the police to reduce the volume of the sound from the event and that the police acted in excess. He had also said that he is a trained dancer and is fond of art.
The Police officer who was blamed by the judge for acting in excess had denied the version of the Judge while speaking to the media.
On Saturday, the Judge said that the protests by Lawyers against him should have been avoided and that it amounted to contempt of Court. He said that though the District Collector or the Superintendent of Police could have removed the protesting Lawyers from the protest site, he did not resort to that because he would have been pained if that were to happen. He also said, while speaking at an event organised for continued education of young lawyers by the Bar Council of Kerala, that the Bar and the Bench are two sides of the same coin.
Judge Kalam Pasha is the brother of retired Kerala High Court Judge Kemal Pasha.