Harish Salve and Prashant Bhushan with Supreme Court
Harish Salve and Prashant Bhushan with Supreme Court
Litigation News

"We will give time but know our responsibility", Supreme Court to hear 11-year-old contempt case against Prashant Bhushan on August 4

All the Counsel involved in the case requested the Court for time till physical hearings resume citing the non-urgency of the case considering that the case had been put on the shelf for years before today.

Debayan Roy

Days after Supreme Court issued notice to Advocate Prashant Bhushan over a suo motu contempt case, a three-Judge Bench took up another 11 year old suo motu contempt case against the lawyer filed by Senior Advocate Harish Salve.

This 11-year-old case had been on the shelf for so long that when it was taken up for hearing today, the Counsel involved in the matter sought for the matter to be heard at a later date citing non-urgency of the issue.

Senior Advocates Shanti Bhushan and Rajeev Dhavan representing Advocate Prashant Bhushan requested the Court to take up the case for hearing after the physical hearings at the Top Court start.

Shanti Bhushan: Please take up the case when normal functioning of the Courts begin. I will be able to assist properly. It (this case) has waited for 11 years, it can wait for a few more weeks.
Rajeev Dhavan: This is an important case and seven years have passed since the last hearing. We request time to assist your Lordships.

Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal representing the then Editor of Tehelka Magazine Tarun Tejpal also sought for the case to be heard by the Court once physical hearings at the Court resume saying that the case had not been heard for years and therefore, it can wait for some more time given that there is no urgency involved.

The Bench expressed its inclination to start hearing the case, however, with Justice Mishra remarking that "This case needs to be heard by someone. We need to start hearing at least."

Justice BR Gavai also questioned as to why this case needed to wait for physical hearings to resume when some of the Constitution Bench matters were also being heard via video conferencing.

Rajeev Dhavan: The record runs into three or four volumes. There are questions of interpretation in this case which have not arisen before. For me to assist the court, I need some time. I am always ready to assist

Not only Dhavan, but Sibal and Senior Counsel Shanti Bhushan also sought time to assist the Court. Shanti Bhushan, who had filed an impleadment application in the case, told the Court today that this application of his is also pending. The Court, expressed disinclination to implead him but the same was resisted by Bhushan himself.

Agreeing to the request made by all the Counsel involved, the Court agreed to hear the case next on August 4.

We will give time but we know our responsibility... Full time has been given and then let us see.
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