An advocate has written to Attorney General K K Venugopal seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his remarks made during a recent interview to a newspaper. The letter by advocate Sunil Kumar Singh claimed the November 29 interview of Bhushan makes an “insinuation that Supreme Court of India does not function in an impartial manner." According to the lawyer, the contents of the interview were prima facie “contumacious" and a “gross insinuation against the entirety of the top court".
“This is a gross insinuation against the entirety of the Supreme Court, that the Supreme Court of India is not an independent and impartial institution but is willing to kowtow to the government. It is highly objectionable and audacious. It is a malicious attack on the hon’ble Supreme Court," the letter stated. The lawyer claimed that such statements were “mala fide and motivated to denigrate the highest judiciary as part of an orchestrated campaign." “The statements made by Prashant Bhushan are of a very serious nature. They are mala fide and motivated to denigrate the higher judiciary. The insinuation against the entire Supreme Court of India that it is not an independent and impartial institution but is willing to kowtow to the government is clearly calculated to undermine the public confidence in the independence and impartiality of Supreme Court of India," the letter stated.
Terming Bhushan a “chronic contemnor", Singh said despite being there many contempt proceedings before the Supreme Court pending against him, he is not desisting from making “irresponsible, contemptuous and contumacious statements" against the honourable judges of the apex court. Earlier, the attorney general had declined consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Bhushan for his tweets in which he was critical of Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde being provided a special helicopter by the Madhya Pradesh government, saying the activist-lawyer later expressed regret.
The Supreme Court had on August 31 imposed a “nominal fine" of Re 1 on Bhushan after he was convicted of criminal contempt for his two tweets against the judiciary, observing it was “showing magnanimity" instead of handing out any severe punishment.