Supreme Court issues contempt notice to Prashant Bhushan; bench condemns lawyer for commenting on sub-judice matter

  • A notice was served to Prashant Bhushan following contempt pleas filed by Attorney General KK Venugopal and the Centre

  • The bench condemned Bhushan for 'wilfully and deliberately’ passing comments on a sub-judice matter

  • Bhushan accepted the notice and was given three weeks to reply

A notice was served to advocate and activist Prashant Bhushan by the Supreme Court on Wednesday following contempt pleas filed by Attorney General KK Venugopal and the Centre over his tweets criticising M Nageswara Rao’s appointment as interim CBI director.

 Supreme Court issues contempt notice to Prashant Bhushan; bench condemns lawyer for commenting on sub-judice matter

File image of Prashant Bhushan. PTI

The bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha condemned Bhushan for 'wilfully and deliberately’ passing comments on a sub-judice matter, saying the court will later deal with the question of whether any person can criticise the court in such matters, leading to an impact on public opinion. The bench observed that a contempt notice should not be used frequently.

"We are not averse to media reporting on court proceedings but the lawyers involved in a case should resist from making a public statement in a sub-judice matter. It has now become common that lawyers appearing in case making a statement and participate in a debate in a sub-judice matter," the court said, according to The Times of India.

In his tweets, Bhushan had alleged that Venugopal had misled the Supreme Court by submitting fabricated minutes of the meeting of the selection committee formed to appoint the new CBI director. Bhushan is appearing for the NGO Common Cause, which filed a petition challenging the appointment of Rao as the interim CBI director.

Bhushan accepted the notice and was given three weeks to reply and the matter was listed for further hearing on 7 March.

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Updated Date: Feb 06, 2019 12:57:42 IST