Attorney General KK Venugopal has rejected an application seeking his consent for the initiation of contempt proceedings against Consulting Editor of the India Today Group, Rajdeep Sardesai for his tweets in relation to Prashant Bhushan Contempt case.
The petition for initiation of contempt proceedings was field by one Astha Khurana claiming that Sardesai had willingly disrespected the SC and attempted to defame the institution through a series of statements made on Twitter.
Alleging that the well-known TV Anchor intentionally made derogatory and scandalous statements, the petitioner had sought for initiation of contempt proceedings against him “for willful and deliberate disobedience of the orders passed by the Supreme Court.
In support of her claims, the petitioner placed reliance on the most recent tweet from 31.08.2020, wherein Sardesai ha remarked saying “Clearly Court looking to wriggle out of an embarrassment of its own making”, in the context of the Re 1 fine imposed on Prashant Bhushan in his contempt case.
Having further alluded to Sardesai’s comments regarding former and present Judges, the petitioner submitted that these kinds of statements pose a big threat to the Judiciary.
When a criminal contempt petition is filed by a private individual, the consent of the Attorney General is required before the top court can consider the matter. Therefore, as per section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act read with Rule 3 to regulate proceedings for Contempt of Supreme Court, an application has been placed before KK Venugopal.
Last month, the Attorney General had declined sanction for a petition seeking to initiate contempt against actor Swara Bhaskar over her remarks against Ayodhya Judgment, observing that the comments did not amount to attack on the judiciary.