The Supreme Court on Friday slammed lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his critical comments passed on Twitter against the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar who had shared a picture of himself watching “Ramayana” serial amidst the national lockdown on Twitter.
“As crores starve and walk hundreds of miles home due to the lockdown, our heartless ministers celebrate consuming and feeding the opium of Ramayana & Mahabharata to the people,” lawyer Prashant Bhushan had tweeted after Union Minister Prakash Javadekar shared his picture watching Ramayana.
Following Bhushan’s withering remarks against Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, an FIR was filed by former Army personnel Jaidev Rajnikant Joshi at Rajkot claiming that Bhushan has hurt religious sentiments of the Hindus by tweeting against re-telecast of Ramayana and Mahabharata serials on DD during the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Hearing the matter, a bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna asked Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who was appearing for Prashant Bhushan: “Mr Dave, anybody can watch anything on TV. How can you say people cannot watch this and that?”
Dave responded, “No, we are not on people watching something on TV. But we are on FIR”
Justice Bhushan to Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave: “Mr Dave, anybody can watch anything on TV. How can you say people cannot watch this and that ?”— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) May 1, 2020
Dave: “No we are not on people watching something on TV. But we are on FIR”@pbhushan1 @PrakashJavdekar #Ramayana
Bhushan, in the writ petition filed in the apex court through advocate Kamini Jaiswal, defended himself claiming hist tweet was meant to highlight the apathy of the Union Minister in handling the migrant workers’ crisis and was not intended at hurting religious sentiments.
Bhushan further added that the FIR filed against him is an abuse of power, intended to muzzle valid criticism of the government actions.
The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection from arrest to Advocate Prashant Bhushan in FIR registered against him by Gujarat police alleging hurting of religious sentiments.
Posting the matter to be heard after two weeks, the court issued a notice to the Gujarat Government, ordering them to not take any coercive action against the defendant till the next day of the hearing.