Plea in SC seeks contempt proceedings against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai for his tweets on judiciary

According to the complainant, the tweets incite a feeling of “no confidence” in the minds of people about the court and “scandalises the court”

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai (Photo Courtesy: Social Media)

NH Web Desk

Contempt proceedings have been sought against journalist Rajdeep Sardesai over his tweets critiquing the court's sentencing verdict in the Prashant Bhushan case and other tweets concerning the judiciary, legal news website has reported.

The complainant, Astha Khurana, has primarily stated that the tweets by the India Today anchor critiquing the apex court verdict in Bhushan's contempt case was nothing but a "cheap publicity stunt."

The petitioner has also written to Attorney General KK Venugopal seeking his consent as per the Supreme Court Rules to initiate the contempt proceedings against Sardesai.

The first tweet assailed by the petitioner is one in which Sardesai criticizes the one rupee sentence imposed by the Supreme Court on Bhushan for contempt.

Thereafter, the contempt petition notes another tweet in which Sardesai sought to point out how the Supreme Court cannot debar a lawyer from practicing.

The third tweet pointed out is one in which the journalist compared the Bhushan verdict to the pending habeas corpus petitions filed by those who were detained in Kashmir.

The next tweet in question was one which "casted aspersion" on retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Arun Mishra.

The contempt petition notes that Sardesai had tweeted with reference to the Rajasthan political crisis that "Judge Arun Mishra who recently described PM Modi as a versatile genius is presiding."

This tweet was later deleted, but as per the complainant, it got a huge publicity in the media which led to questions "on the fairness of the court."

Thereafter, the petition also questions a tweet in which Sardesai questioned the meeting of the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi with the DGP of Uttar Pradesh, a day before pronouncing the Ayodhya land dispute verdict.

According to the complainant, all these tweets incite a feeling of "no confidence" in the minds of people about the court and "scandalises the court."

The complainant has also called Sardesai a "habitual contemnor".

Khurana has therefore sought to initiate contempt proceedings under Section 2(1)(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 for Sardesai's "wilful disobedience of the court orders and judgments".

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