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The Supreme Court Wednesday permitted contempt proceedings against advocate Prashant Bhushan for casting aspersions on judges, including Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, and making objectionable remarks against them.

A bench of Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice H.L. Dattu said that the contempt petition moved by amicus curiae Harish Salve would be heard Nov 10.

The Court asked Bhushan to file his reply to the contempt petition within 12 weeks.

Earlier appearing for Bhushan, senior counsel Ram Jethamalani objected to the procedure adopted in the suo motu proceeding.

He said that it was incumbent upon the chief justice to take consent of the Attorney General of India before initiating the suo motu contempt proceeding.

Jethmalani told the court that it resorts to suo mottu route for initiating contempt proceedings in ‘rarest of rare’ cases.

Bhushan in an interview to Tehalka magazine had said that the then Justice Kapadia should have recused (withdrawn) himself from the forest bench when it was hearing Vedanta Sterlite Group matter.

Subsequently, Kapadia recused himself from the bench. Others on the forest bench were the then Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam.

Jethmalani told the bench that it should not go ahead with the hearing of the case as it would be seen as an attempt to hold back some ‘uncomfortable’ facts about the judiciary.

The senior counsel said: ‘If the matter is heard, the outcome can bring much much more tragedy.’

Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the lawyer, echoed similar views when he told the court that power of contempt should not be exercised to silence criticism of judiciary.


One Response to “Supreme Court okays contempt case against lawyer”

  1. OSURI DEVENDRA PHANIKAR

    Sir,
    I am a social activist and public spirited citizen. I filed a PIL in AP High court in W.P.no.27227/09 for an enquiry by ACB in to disproportionate assets of Mr.D.S.Murthy a retired IAS officer who illegally acquired more than Rs 100 crores of assets.D.S.Murthy being 9th respondent respondent filed counter affidavit alleging the close relationship with me. He falsely attributes malafides to me to divert the attention of the court. I have been pursuing the corrupt for the last 3 decades. And he is one of them and he happened to be my close relative. I showed the inaction of the ACB very effectively by filing my representations in material papers sent to ACB who is second respondent. But 2nd respondent badly undervalued the properties and showing marginal disproportionate assets of Mr.D.S.Murthy in their counter.D.S.Murthy retired IAS is trying to get the court prejudiced by questioning my locus standi by mentioning irrelevant matters in his counter. There are very specific details with documentary evidence in my PIL.The subject matter and contents of PIL are more important than the fact that who the petitioner is.
    The matter is posted after 8 weeks from 11–08-2010. This is case of corruption. I would to see that PIL is perused completely by the AP High court before disposing the PIL. Kindly advise me in the matter
    OSURI DEVENDRA PHANIKAR
    S V NILAYAM
    OSURI MANSION
    NARSAPUR-534275
    AP
    CELL-09346610749

    Reply

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