Attorney General Veto Contemp Case against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai


Quoted Rajdeep Sardesai’s tweet on Supreme Court verdict in Prashant Bhushan case.

new Delhi:

Contempt litigation should not be held against senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, with the Attorney General rejecting requests to file a case against the television news anchor for a tweet accusing him of criticizing the Supreme Court.

Attorney General KK Venugopal’s office had received a request to initiate contempt proceedings against Mr Sardesai for his comments on the Supreme Court verdict, which found senior advocate Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt last month.

The petitioner allegedly referred to several tweets made by the journalist on the day the court imposed a fine of Rs 1 on the judiciary and the chief justice for his social media posts.

Rejecting a request to prosecute Mr. Sardesai, the Attorney General said, “Trifling is being criticized for comment and mere criticism, though perhaps not likely to tarnish the image of the distasteful institution.”

Last month, Mr. Venugopal refused to allow the advocate to file a contempt petition against actor Swara Bhaskar for comment on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Babri Masjid and Ayodhya land dispute case.

Contempt cases have increased after lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan was convicted last month of the same charge, which has discussed free speech and dissent. Mr. Bhushan, the court ruled, crossed a line in commenting about the judiciary.

Mr. Bhushan said in his defense that he considered his tweet to be “an effort to work for the good of the institution”, and open criticism was necessary to protect democracy in India.

The Attorney General, who himself filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against Mr. Bhushan last year, for commenting on the appointment of former CBI chief M Nageswara Rao, this time, the court has ignored the tweets of the veteran lawyer requested.

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