Sat. Mar 23rd, 2019

Contempt Petition against Prashant Bhushan for CBI chief appointment comments

Attorney General of India and the government have initiated contempt proceedings for Bhushan’s tweets on the Supreme Court case involving appointment CBI chief.

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The Attorney General of India and the Union of India have initiated contempt proceedings against advocate Prashant Bhushan for his tweets on February 01, 2019 in relation to the hearings before the Supreme Court of India in the case involving appointment of CBI chief. Bhushan had tweeted:


Petitions:

Case Title and NumberThe Attorney General of India v. Prashant Bhushan
Contempt Petition (Crl) No. 1 of 2019
(Read petition – via BarandBench.com)
Case Title and NumberUnion of India v. Prashant Bhushan
Contempt Petition (Crl) No. 2 of 2019
(Read petition – via BarandBench.com)

Hearing

06 February 2019

The contempt petitions came to be heard by bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha. Bar and Bench reports:

“AG Venugopal said that he was not pressing for any punishment against Bhushan, but merely wishes for the issue to be decided once and for all. On the other hand, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, sought for punishment against Bhushan.”

Bench observed that “it would address the larger issue of the extent of media discussion in cases that were sub judice.” Justice Mishra observed:

“When we haven’t fully decided the issue and lawyers make statements to the media, it can affect the public mind and efficacy of the court.”

“Earlier, lawyers desisted from speaking publicly about matters they appeared in. Now, everyday we find that in pending matters, a lawyer who argues here, goes out and criticises orders.” (Bar&Bench)

Court, inter alia, observed:

“As the issues raised are of vital importance, whether in a matter which is sub-judice, it is open to criticise the court proceedings to affect the public opinion by litigants and lawyers and protection of various other rights of the litigants are also involved; what are the rights of the litigants and what may amount to interference in the course of administration of justice. In view of the aforesaid decision and facts and circumstances, we deem it appropriate to hear the matter. As such, we issue notice to the respondent. “


Image via Swaraj Abhiyan

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