Sunday, April 14, 2024

SC takes up another 11-year-old suo motu contempt case against Prashant Bhushan

Days after Supreme Court issued notice to senior lawyer 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, Bar and Bench reported.

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

“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,” Shanti Bhushan said to the Court.

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.

“This case needs to be heard by someone. We need to start hearing at least,” Justice Mishra replied.

According to Bar and Bench report, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishnan Murari heard the suo-moto contempt case which has its genesis in a set of allegations put forth by Bhushan against former Chief Justices SH Kapadia and KG Balakrishnan.

In an interview given by Prashant Bhushan to Shoma Chaudhury of Tehelka magazine in 2009, Bhushan allegedly said that half of the preceding 16 Chief Justices were corrupt.

Post this, the Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the issue after a complaint to this effect was filed by Senior Counsel Harish Salve.

The apex court had had issued contempt notice to Bhushan and Tejpal in November 2009 for allegedly casting aspersions on some sitting and former top court judges in the interview.

As per the complaint, Bhushan also said in the interview that he had no proof of the allegations.

Bhushan had also criticised former CJI Justice SH Kapadia for deciding the Niyamgiri mining case involving Vedanta/Sterlite despite holding shares in Sterlite.

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