Sunil Kumar Singh, Supreme Court Advocate, has written a letter to the Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, seeking his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Prashant Bhushan for his tweets targeting CJI SA Bobde. The Supreme Court of India recently punished Bhushan in a similar case where he was asked to pay Re.1 as a fine.
In his letter, Singh wrote that the tweet by Bhushan on 21st October commenting on the personal life of the Chief Justice of India and connecting it to the pending case amounts to contempt of court. In the tweet, Bhushan had said that the CJI had availed a special chopper provided by the Madhya Pradesh government for a visit to Kanha National Park & then to his home town in Nagpur.
Bhushan had further mentioned that the CJI visited the state when an important case of disqualification of defecting MLAs of MP is pending before him. He alleged that the survival of the MP govt depends on this case and accused the CJI of taking favours from the BJP govt in the state in return for a favourable judgment in that case.
The CJI avails a special chopper provided by the MP Govt (authorised by the CM) for a visit to Kanha National Park& then to his home town in Nagpur, while an important case of disqualification of defecting MLAs of MP is pending before him. Survival of MP govt depends on this case pic.twitter.com/XWkYVjHkvH— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) October 21, 2020
Tweet ‘scandalises’ the Supreme Court – says, petitioner
In his letter, the petitioner has said that the tweet posted by Bhushan ‘scandalises’ the Supreme Court. He further added that it is prejudiced and interfered with the due course of judicial proceedings and administration of justice in a sub-judice matter. Mentioning Section 15 of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 that gives power to the Supreme Court or the High Court to take action on its own motion or on a motion made by the AG or any other person with the written consent of the AG, Singh asked for permission to go ahead with the contempt of court proceedings.
Prashant Bhushan was previously punished in a Contempt of Court case
On 14th August, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court had held Prashan Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for the tweets he posted against the apex court and the Chief Justices of India. On 31st August, the Supreme Court ‘punished’ Prashant Bhushan, held guilty in contempt of court, with a nominal fine of Re 1. However, the court added that if Bhushan fails to pay a fine of Re 1, he will be sentenced to 3 months in jail and suspension of his lawyering for 3 months. Bhushan paid the fine claiming he was paying as he respects the court. However, he later filed a review petition against the verdict.