Bhushan contempt case earlier than one bench, keep plea in one other | India News

NEW DELHI: Can one bench of the Supreme Court sit in enchantment over proceedings pending earlier than one other bench? A pretend pas by the court docket registry within the contempt circumstances towards advocate Prashant Bhushan caused such a state of affairs, forcing the court docket to undertake an pressing fire-fight to appropriate the state of affairs.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra is seized of two contempt proceedings towards Bhushan – one in every of 2009 when he gave an interview alleging that half of 16 former CJIs had been corrupt, for which he lately expressed remorse, however refused to apologise. The different is the suo motu prison contempt proceedings initiated by the identical bench for his two tweets towards the current CJI and 4 former CJIs.
When proceedings had been on, Bhushanm together with well-known journalist N Ram and former editor-turned-politician Arun Shourie, collectively filed a petition difficult the constitutional validity of Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act, which mentioned it was contempt if anybody scandalised the court docket with spoken or written phrases. In the identical petition, the trio had sought a keep on the 2 contempt proceedings pending earlier than the Justice Mishra-led bench.
Unfathomably, the registry notified itemizing of Bhushan-Ram-Shourie petition earlier than a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, which meant that the bench would study whether or not or not the prison contempt proceedings towards Bhushan — pending earlier than the Justice Mishra-led bench — be stayed.
The registry informed TOI, “A petition titled N Ram and others vs Union of India was filed within the SC praying that sure provisions of Contempt of Court Act are unconstitutional. As per the follow and process in use, the mentioned matter ought to have been listed earlier than the bench which is already seized with related matter, however it has been listed (earlier than one other bench) ignoring established follow and process. In this regard, explanations of officers involved have been referred to as.”
The trio’s petition was initially notified to be listed earlier than a bench of Justices Chandrachud and Ok M Joseph for listening to on August 10. However, a later notification mentioned the case has been deleted from the checklist of enterprise earlier than the bench.
Interestingly, Bhushan, in response to the discover issued to him by the SC in suo motu prison contempt proceedings for his tweets, had extensively quoted Justice Chandrachud’s speech on freedom of speech and the diminishing returns for judiciary from using contempt of court docket proceedings.
Bhushan, Ram and Shourie, who had additionally come collectively to problem the India-French inter-governmental deal for buy of 36 fully-loaded Rafale fighter jets in 2018, of their petition mentioned they “are looking for a keep on all of the proceedings in prison contempt circumstances pending towards Bhushan, which might be both based mostly on the definition of ‘prison contempt’ underneath Section 2(c)(i) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 or are intrinsically linked to the identical, throughout the pendency of the moment writ petition”.
The incongruous state of affairs, created due to a mistake dedicated by the registry in itemizing the petition earlier than the bench headed by Justice Chandrachud, with out even taking the steerage of ‘grasp of the roster’ Chief Justice S A Bobde, is being seen as a severe lapse by the registry prime brass. An clarification has been sought from the officers involved in regards to the lapse.
The trio, referred to themselves as “extremely revered people with excellent track-record of their respective fields”, and mentioned: “In view of the authorized questions of constitutional significance being raised vide the moment writ petition and due to the truth that freedom of speech and expression in addition to private liberty of Bhushan are at stake, it’s respectfully prayed that this court docket could also be happy to remain all of the proceedings in prison contempt circumstances pending towards Bhushan.”

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