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SC issues notice to Prashant Bhushan on contempt pleas filed by AG, Centre

The notice to Bhushan was served for the latter’s tweets with regard to the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan on contempt pleas filed by Attorney General KK Venugopal and Centre.

The notice to Bhushan was served for the latter’s tweets with regard to the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Hearing the matter, a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha sought Bhushan’s response in three weeks.

In his tweets Bhushan had accused Venugopal and the Centre of “wilfully and deliberately” making false statement in connection with the case.

While appearing for the petitioner in the case challenging the appointment of Rao, Bhushan had accused the government of misleading the Court claiming that Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had told him that no discussion took place regarding the interim CBI director’s appointment in the high-powered committee.

According to Bar and Bench, Venugopal, in his petition, stated that Bhushan cast aspersions on the integrity of the AG and levelled vindictive allegations against the Government of India without applying to the court for the minutes of the meeting.

The Centre, in its contempt petition, raised objections to the tweets accusing Bhushan of making false statements “to obstruct justice and to interfere with the course of a pending judicial proceeding”.

Though Venugopal said that he was not pressing for any punishment against Bhushan, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, sought for punishment.

The matter will be taken up for detailed hearing on March 7.