The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan in case of contempt for his tweets on the appointment of M Nageshwar Rao as the interim chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The contempt plea was filed by the Centre and Attorney General KK Venugopal.
Bhushan was given three weeks’ time to reply.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha said, the matter raises a larger question that whether it is open for lawyers or any other person to criticise the court in a sub judice matter.
The bench added that criticising the court may also lead to interference in the course of justice. The matter would be heard on March 7.
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court, that Bhushan in hi his tweets had accused the government when petitions against Rao’s appointment were pending in court.
On February 1, Bhushan wrote on Twitter, “I have just confirmed personally from the Leader of Opposition Mr Kharge that no discussion or decision in HPC meet was taken re appt of Nageswara Rao as interim Director CBI. The govt appears to have misled the court and perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the HPC meeting!”
He further wrote, “See the letter of LOP Kharge re the unilateral appointment of Nageswara Rao as interim Director CBI by govt, w/o going through HPC of PM, CJI & LOP. Yet govt produced minutes of meeting saying that HPC approved appt. Seems govt gave fabricated minutes to court! Contempt of Court!”