The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from three lawyers on a plea seeking contempt action against them on the basis of the charges that they assaulted JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar at the Patiala House Court Complex here.
A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre also issued notice to the Union Home Ministry on a PIL filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal, seeking direction to appoint a special investigation team to probe incidents of attack on February 15 and 17 on the accused, JNU students, teachers and journalists.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Jaiswal, submitted that the conduct of lawyers was an open contempt for the apex court’s order and the rule of law.
Claiming the advocates’ behaviour has set “great alarm”, he cited reports by the lawyers panel appointed by the court to take stock of the situation on February 17, as well as the high court’s registrar general and a sting operation carried by India Today TV channel in which the three lawyers were caught on camera bragging and boasting about beating Kanhaiya Kumar for three hours in the police lock up.
Initially, the bench was not keen to entertain the petition, observing, “Why should we entertain it as a petition (by JNU alumnus on access to justice to Kumar) was already pending.” But the court decided to seek reply from three lawyers Vikram Singh Chauhan, Yashpal Singh and Om Sharma and the Union government and put the matter for hearing on March 4 as Bhushan insisted the instant petition was a comprehensive one.
An FIR was registered against the three lawyers and they were arrested and granted bail on the same day.
During the hearing, three other advocates — R P Luthra, Mathews J Nedumpara and M L Sharma — objected to filing of the present PIL on the ground of “form and procedure” and that Bhushan himself was facing contempt of court proceedings, which did not come up for hearing since 2011.
The court, however, told them it would hear them after they file their petition.