AG files contempt plea against Prashant Bhushan

Venugopal said Bhushan had attempted to scandalise the top court and obstruct the administration of justice by his tweet on February 1. 

Attorney General for India K K Venugopal on Monday filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against advocate Prashant Bhushan for alleging in a tweet that the top law officer had misled the court on the appointment of M Nageshwara Rao as interim CBI director.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha fixed the petition for consideration on February 6.

He said Bhushan had attempted to scandalise the top court and obstructed in the administration of justice by his tweet on February 1. 

The counsel also denigrated the office of the Attorney General, a petition filed by Venugopal stated.

In a hearing that took place on February 1 on a PIL filed by NGO 'Common Cause' and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, Venugopal had told the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha that the high-powered panel headed by the prime minister had on January 10 authorised the government to appoint a suitable officer as an interim director till the regular chief was appointed in the CBI.

This was well within the knowledge of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who participated in the high-powered selection panel as the minutes of the meeting was signed by him as well. Justice A K Sikri had participated in the selection panel meetings as a nominee of the CJI, he said.

"To the utter shock of the petitioner", Venugopal said Bhushan attributed to Kharge as having told him that no discussion took place on appointment of Rao as interim director. 

"Clearly, the statement could have never been made by Kharge as he himself signed the minutes of the meeting," Venugopal pointed out.

Bhushan chose to hurl false allegations against the Union government and the Attorney General without attempting to verify the facts and cast aspersion on an officer of the court, the petition filed by Venugopal stated.

"This is not only reckless but shows malice and dishonesty. It is evidently an attempt to generate publicity through press and media and interfere with the due process," he said.

Calling the attack by Bhushan upon him as "brazen, willful and malicious," Venugopal said it would shake and pollute the very foundation and stream of justice.

He sought contempt action against Bhushan and urged the court to seriously consider if the counsel should be allowed to pursue PILs in future.

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AG files contempt plea against Prashant Bhushan

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