New Delhi: A lawyer has moved the Supreme Court to plead for the live telecast of court proceedings in a suo motu contempt case against advocate Prashant Bhushan for his June tweet on the judiciary.
Advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa contended that the contempt proceedings against Bhushan may have a substantial effect on the Bar and Bench not only in India but across the globe.
“The applicant submits that the instant contempt case is one of the most sensational case ever since the inception of the Supreme Court of India. The projection of Prashant Bhushan’s case in the hands of the print and digital media is nothing but (an attempt) to glorify him and his acts that tend to lower the respect and repute of the institution,” the plea read.
Khalsa urged the apex court to ensure live telecast and videotaping of the court proceedings, especially the pronouncement of the order, if any, on August 25.
The petitioner claimed that there is a lobby, of which Bhushan is one of the founding members, whose aim is to destabilise the institution and to criticise when it fails to obtain orders/relief from the top court.
“One of the objectives is to target the Office of the Chief Justice of India, and this particular lobby has targeted Chief Justices in the past,” the petitioner alleged.
Khalsa has undertaken to pay the cost incurred on live telecast and videotaping of the contempt proceedings.
“The applicant further submits that retired Judges of this court have extended support to Prashant Bhushan; in fact, Justice Kurian Joseph (retd) has even questioned the bench hearing the contempt case and suggested an intra-court appeal to the contemnor. The applicant submits that the said retired Judges were mere spectators when others (advocates) were convicted,” Khalsa added.
On August 14, the apex court had held activist-lawyer Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for his tweet criticising the judiciary.
In June-end, Bhushan had tweeted to express his opinion that the action or inaction of the last four Chief Justices of India had contributed to the destruction of democracy in the country, without even a formal Emergency.
On August 20, the Supreme Court gave Prashant Bhushan time till August 24 to submit an unconditional apology and asked him to reconsider his defiant statement declining to apologise.
“…. Let it (apology) be filed by August 24. In case the apology is submitted, the case to be posted for consideration on the same on August 25.”