The Attorney General K K Venugopal Thursday declined consent to contempt proceedings against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court’s judgment imposing Rs.1/- fine on advocate Prashant Bhushan for committing contempt of court.
Attorney General for India KK Venugopal declines his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.@sardesairajdeep pic.twitter.com/B7F8vst4DZ
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AG Venugopal, in his opinion, said tweets by Sardesai were “not so serious” that could “undermine the majesty of court.” Trifling remarks and mere passing criticism though perhaps distasteful are unlikely to tarnish the image of the Institution, he added.
Astha Khurana, through Advocate on Record, Om Prakash Parihar, had approached the AG for his consent to initiate criminal contempt case against Sardesai.
“I find that the statements made by Shri Sardesai are not so serious a nature as to undermine the majesty of the Supreme Court or lower its stature in the minds of the public. The reputation of the Supreme Court as one of the great pillars of our democracy has been built assiduously over the last 70 years”, the AG said.
Khurana referred to a tweet by Sardesai where he said “Breaking: Rs 1 token fine imposed by SC on @pbhushan1 in contempt case.. if he doesn’t pay it, then 3 months jail sentence! Clearly, court looking to wriggle out of an embarrassment of its own making.”
She also pointed out other tweets by the journalist to say that Sardesai “tried to spread feeling of no confidence on the Hon’ble Court amongst public and even stated the apology by the Hon’ble Court for its recent judgments”.
Sardesai allegedly compared the Prashant Bhushan case verdict to habeas corpus petitions of persons detained in Kashmir. This tweet too was pointed out by the petitioner to initiate contempt action against the journalist.
Earlier, the AG declined consent to initiate contempt proceedings against actress Swara Bhaskar for her remarks on the Ayodhya verdict delivered by the Supreme Court.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.