A day after Attorney-General (AG) KK Venugopal on Monday, 4 February, filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against him, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan found himself in the receiving end of yet another contempt petition- this time from the Centre, on Tuesday, 5 February, for his tweets alleging that the AG had misled the Court by submitting that the appointment of interim CBI Director Nageshwar Rao, had the approval of the high-powered Selection Committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Both contempt petitions as well as a plea filed by NGO Common Cause challenging appointment of Rao as CBI interim chief will be heard by Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha on Wednesday, 7 February, PTI reported.
The tweets in question were posted by Bhushan on 1 February, in which he allegedly said that the government appeared to have misled the apex court and perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the meeting.
The Centre, in its petition, stated: “such an act by a counsel of making false and irresponsible allegations on a public platform, rather than raising his grievances, if any, before this Hon’ble Court, is grossly contumacious and warrants punishment by this Court,” Live Law reported.
Venugopal, in his petition filed on Monday, said Bhushan deliberately intended to cast aspersions on the integrity and honesty of the Attorney-General who had placed the minutes of the meeting before the apex court during the 1 February hearing.
During the hearing on 1 February, Venugopal had in a sealed cover placed before the bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, the minutes of the meeting of the Selection Committee which was held last month for appointing the new CBI chief.
Venugopa had informed the bench that the Centre had taken the permission of the Committee to appoint Rao as interim CBI Director.
The Selection Committee comprises the Prime Minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the Chief Justice of India or his nominee judge of the apex court.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the Centre’s decision to appoint Rao as interim CBI director.
(With inputs from PTI)
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