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India

Supreme Court issues contempt notice to Rahul Gandhi

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice of criminal contempt to Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

The court turned down a plea to close the matter. The court will also hear a Rafale review on April 30 along with this.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi moved the apex court seeking action against Gandhi over his ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ rant.

She sought time to file a reply to Gandhi’s affidavit against her contempt plea.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, said that the Congress President had exhibited a reckless attitude in making such statements.

IANS

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India

Ex-acting CBI chief held guilty of contempt on Tuesday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held former acting Director of CBI M. Nageswara Rao guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him along with the agency’s legal advisor till the rising of the court.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna also fined them Rs 1 lakh each.

Chief Justice Gogoi said that in his last 20 years as a judge he had not compromised on the dignity and honour of the court.

Rao and the CBI’s legal advisor earned the wrath of the court for relieving former Additional Director A.K. Sharma from the CBI without taking the prior nod of the top court.

Holding Rao guilty of contempt of court, the judges noted that on January 18, 2019, when Sharma was relieved, Rao was aware of the court’s two orders and had asked the concerned people to approach the court.

However, on the same day, he signed a draft order sent by DoPT relieving Sharma from the CBI without satisfying whether the top court had been taken into confidence.

Sharma, who was heading the investigating team probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home horror, had said that he could not be shunted out as the CBI needed to take the court’s permission.

IANS

 

 

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India

Contempt notice to Nageswara Rao, Subha Ram

The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on CBI Joint Director M. Nageswara Rao and prosecution in-charge S. Bhasuram Subha Ram for transferring a CBI officer probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case despite the courts embargo against the transfer of investigating officials.

In a sudden turn of events, the apex court initiated contempt proceedings against the two officials for processing a file relating to the transfer of then Additional Director A.K. Sharma who was heading the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Misra, and Justice Sanjiv Johanna slammed both officials for transferring Sharma without notifying the court or informing the Appointments Cabinet Committee (CCA).

Taking a “very very serious view” of the transfer, the bench sought their response by Monday and their personal presence in the court on Tuesday.

The court also sought the presence of all CBI officials who dealt with the file relating to the transfer of Sharma from CBI to the Central Reserve Police Force as its Additional Director.

IANS

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India

Notice to Prashant Bhushan on contempt plea

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to advocate Prashant Bhushan on a contempt plea filed by Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and the Centre saying that Bhushan tweeted that the AG “fabricated” minutes of a selection panel meeting on the appointment of then acting CBI Director M. Nageswara Rao that was cleared by the panel.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Navin Sinha said they will be addressing the issue of “vital importance” involving commenting on a matter of sub-judice affecting public opinion and the rights of the litigants. The next hearing will be on March 7.

Making it clear that “punishment to a lawyer should be the last resort”, Justice Mishra said: “Contempt is a Brhamastra, it should not be used ordinarily.”

While Venugopal, at the outset, made it clear that he was not seeking any punishment for Bhushan but wanted a line to be drawn and a law be declared spelling out the limits on media reporting and lawyers commenting on matters sub-judice.

However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, sought to discipline the errant lawyers who go public criticizing judgments and casting aspersions on judges.

Mehta said the “magnanimity” of the court on not taking action against such people should not be treated as a “weakness”.

IANS