SC registers suo moto criminal contempt case against Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has registered suo moto criminal contempt case against senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on a plea filed by one Aastha Khurana alleging his tweets, published last year, had scandalised the judiciary.
In September last year, the Attorney General K K Venugopal had declined to give consent to initiate criminal contempt against Sardesai. According to Khurana’s lawyer Omprakash, after the AG’s refusal, the petitioner filed a fresh petition in the top court, which was registered as criminal contempt case on February 13, this year.
The petitioner had contended that Sardesai’s statement is not only a cheap publicity stunt but a deliberate attempt to spread hatred in form of anti-India campaign on to protest and resist in every way against the top court and judiciary as a machinery. “That the Contemnor tweet is of serious nature putting a big question on sovereign function of Supreme Court and their abiding nature to the Constitution”, said the plea.
The petitioner cited tweet by Sardesai, published in August 2020, where he had criticised the one-rupee penalty imposed on advocate Prashant Bhushan in the contempt of court; and another tweet citing that the top court cannot debar any lawyer from practice.
The plea said later this tweet was deleted by him, but it has got huge media publicity and has again questioned the fairness of the top court, which is again a big threat to the Judiciary.
The plea contended that it is evident that Sardesai has disrespected the decision of the top court with impunity. “The Respondent (Sardesai) has wilfully disobeyed the decision of this Hon’ble Court and their conduct is contumacious. Therefore, a serious view of the conduct of the Respondent is required to be taken for ensuring proper administration of justice”, said the plea.
The plea argued that the actions on the part of the respondent amount to wilful disobedience of the judgment passed by the top court, which is “criminal contempt” under Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. “Such Remarks of the Contemnor Will seriously affect the Supreme Court which is highest court in which millions of Indians has faith”, said the plea.