The Supreme Court Wednesday asked senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, who is facing contempt of court proceedings, to sit with court-appointed lawyer Harish Salve to work out a solution in the best interest of the apex court.
Bhushan is facing contempt proceedings for alleging that Justice S.H. Kapadia, before heading the apex court, indulged in misconduct by hearing a mining lease case involving Sterlite Industries.
The apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice H.L. Dattu told Bhushan: ‘We are asking you to do something. It is for the institution. No one will get hurt.’
Having said this, the court asked Bhushan: ‘Can you sit with amicus curiae (Harish Salve) and work out a solution.’
Bhushan in an interview with a magazine alleged misconduct by Justice Kapadia while he was part of the forest bench that decided Niyamgiri Mining lease case in favour of Sterlite Industries.
The senior counsel alleged Justice Kapadia was involved in misconduct because he had shares in the company.
Justice Kapadia was not the Chief Justice of India when the forest bench decided the issue in favour of Sterlite Industries.
Appearing for Bhushan, senior counsel Ram Jethamalani told the court that it was ‘unconscionable for any person to say that all that I had said was an utter nonsense. The court must see my problem. I have already clarified the position vis-a-vis Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia’.
In this, Jethmalani was referring to the two-page letter written by Bhushan giving clarification and context in which he had imputed misconduct.
Bhushan in his statement said that ‘it is wrong and most unfortunate that my remarks appear to have been misconstrued by some as imputation of financial corruption. Justice Kapadia is widely perceived to be a judge of absolute financial integrity and I fully share that perception’.
Jethmalani offered to do anything that Salve might suggest, saying that the case was not serving the purpose of the Contempt of Courts Act.The case would be heard next Sep 6.