The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan on contempt petitions filed by Attorney General KK Venugopal and the Centre over the former’s comments on the appointment of interim CBI director Nageswara Rao. Both Venugopal and Centre in their petition said that Bhushan’s remarks accusing the government of misleading the Supreme Court through top law officer amounted to contempt of court.
The government has contended that Bhushan’s “willfully and deliberately” tweeted false statement in a case that was then pending in the court.
After the CBI infighting became public, Centre shunted the 2 top officials and appointed Nageswara Rao as interim chief, however, a petition was filed by NGO Common Cause against the removal of CBI chief Alok Verma. While the petition was being heard Attorney General Venugopal had submitted before a Bench led by Justice Mishra that the government’s appointment of Rao was on the basis of an approval given by the high-power committee (HPC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 9-10 for the posting of a ‘suitable officer’ as interim CBI Director till a new Director is appointed.
On the same day, Bhushan, who represented the NGO tweeted that the government had “misled” the court.
Today, after the hearing on the contempt petition, the Court gave Bhushan three weeks’ time to file a reply.