Prashant Bhushan strikes SC, seeks recall of order issuing contempt discover towards him


New Delhi, August 1

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan has moved the Supreme Court searching for recall of its July 22 order by which discover was issued towards him in a contempt continuing initiated for his alleged contemptuous tweets towards the judiciary.

In his plea, Bhushan has sought a course to declare that the Apex Court’s secretary-general has allegedly “acted unconstitutionally and illegally” in accepting a “defective contempt petition” filed towards him, which was initially positioned on the executive aspect and afterward the judicial aspect.

Besides this, Bhushan has sought a keep on the July 22 order and in addition on one other order for itemizing on August four the pending separate contempt case filed towards him in 2009.

He has stated in his plea that the highest court docket ought to “desist” from listening to each these issues by video-conferencing and listing them when the bodily listening to resumes.

On July 22, the Apex Court had issued discover to Bhushan within the contempt continuing initiated towards him for his alleged tweets, saying his statements prima facie “brought the administration of justice in disrepute”.

Later, on July 24, the court docket had stated it will hear on August four the 2009 contempt case towards Bhushan and journalist Tarun Tejpal for allegedly casting aspersions on some sitting and former prime court docket judges in an interview to a information journal. Tejpal was the then editor of the journal.

In his plea, Bhushan has alleged that the contempt petition filed towards him by one Mahek Maheshwari concerning a tweet posted by him “was defective” because the consent of both the Attorney General or the Solicitor General was not obtained.

“It is most respectfully submitted that this court erred in taking suo motu cognisance of a petition that was defective, to begin with, and therefore, what could not have been done directly was done indirectly,” the plea stated.

It alleged that by taking cognisance on Maheshwari’s petition, the court docket has “dispensed with the requirement of taking consent of the Attorney General or the Solicitor General which is the express and non-derogable mandate of law.”

While referring to the Supreme Court Rules 2013, the plea stated that the “defective contempt petition” must have been returned to Maheshwari.

“However, it appears from the order dated July 22, 2020…..the respondent (secretary-general), in complete disregard for the mandate of law, proceeded to entertain the said petition on the administrative side and thereafter placed the matter on the judicial side before the bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari on July 22,” the plea stated.

Bhushan has claimed in his plea that secretary normal’s motion in “unilaterally” inserting the contempt petition earlier than a bench presided over by Justice Mishra was “contrary to the settled law” as laid down by the highest court docket which had categorically held that “Chief Justice of India is the master of the roster and enjoys the exclusive prerogative to constitute benches and assign matters to benches.”

“It is submitted that the actions of the respondent (secretary-general) amount to a usurpation of the powers of the Chief Justice and are therefore clearly unlawful being contrary to settled law as well as the Supreme Court Rules 2013,” the plea claimed.

It alleged that actions of secretary-general resulting in initiation of contempt proceedings towards Bhushan in addition to the discover as per which he has been directed to look in individual earlier than the court docket on August 5 “constitute an infringement of the petitioner’s right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution”. PTI



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