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The Supreme Court today issued notice in the contempt petitions filed by Attorney General KK Venugopal and the Central government against advocate Prashant Bhushan.
The matter was heard by a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha. The Bench decided to address the larger issue of discussions carried out and statements made by members of the Bar regarding sub judice cases.
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.
After hearing the arguments, the Court issued notice to Bhushan and has sought his reply in the matter in three weeks. Rejoinders are to be filed within one week thereafter.
The matter will be taken up for detailed hearing on March 7.
Venugopal had filed the petition against Bhushan for his tweets in the case challenging appointment of M Nageshwar Rao as interim Director of CBI.
Bhushan, who was appearing for the petitioner in the matter, tweeted that he spoke to Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, who denied any discussion having taken place in the High-Powered committee regarding the appointment of Rao. Thus, the government appeared to have misled the court, Bhushan stated in his tweet.
According to the AG’s petition, Bhushan, without applying to the court for the minutes of the meeting, chose to hurl vindictive allegations against the Attorney General for India and the Government of India and cast aspersions on the integrity of the AG.
Another contempt petition, this time filed by the Centre, followed the AG’s petition. The Centre took objection to the tweets put out by Prashant Bhushan which it alleges, amounted to deliberately making false statements in a pending case “to obstruct justice and to interfere with the course of a pending judicial proceeding”.