New Delhi, September 17: Attorney General KK Venugopal on Thursday declined to grant consent for initiating criminal contempt proceedings against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. The plea was made to the Attorney-General seeking permission to initiate contempt proceedings in the Supreme Court against the senior journalist over his tweets critiquing the apex court's verdict in the Prashant Bhushan case. Prashant Bhushan Contempt Case: Supreme Court Asks Attorney General KK Venugopal to Help Court in 2009 Contempt Case Against Advocate.
The plea was filed by Astha Khurana through advocate Om Prakash Parihar and Dushyant Tiwari. The A-G, in the reply to the petitioner's counsel, said, "The reputation of the Supreme Court as one of the great pillars of our democracy has been built assiduously over the last 70 years. Trifling remarks and mere passing criticism though perhaps distasteful are unlikely to tarnish the image of the institution." Prashant Bhushan Contempt Case: Lawyer-Activist Files Review Petition in Supreme Court Against Its Judgment.
The AG in a letter stated, "I have given careful consideration to the tweets. I find that the statements made by Sardesai are not of so serious a nature as to undermine the majesty of the Supreme Court or lower its stature in the minds of the public."
The petitioner had referred to five tweets allegedly published by Sardesai on his Twitter page. One of the tweets by Sardesai had criticised the one-rupee penalty imposed on Bhushan by the court and the other tweet, where he claimed that the top court cannot debar any lawyer from practice.
In the plea, the complainant termed, Sardesai's tweets critiquing the apex court's verdict in Bhushan's contempt case as "cheap publicity stunt." Khurana also claimed that the senior journalist had shown no respect towards the Supreme Court in his tweets by questioning the credibility of the top court.